Johannesburg, 24 November 2022: South Africa is home to an estimated 2.6 million micro, small and medium enterprises, employing upwards of 50% of the working population and contributing 39% to overall Gross Domestic Product. Their positive impact on communities and the wider economy can also be seen in the number of jobs they create, the breadth of local services they deliver and the wealth generated.
Despite society’s recognition of their important contribution to the economy, access to finance is still proving to be a major challenge for SMEs. This problem prompted the creation of Lulalend in 2015, an SME with a goal to increase financial inclusion by simplifying the funding application process and facilitating quick and easy access to funding.
Fast forward seven years, and Lulalend has grown significantly to become a leading business funding provider nationwide. Remaining true to its roots, it has taken another stand for South Africa’s SME sector as the official partner of the 2022 702 / Cape Talk Small Business Awards.
From retail and hospitality to transport and construction, SMEs from all sectors across the Western Cape and Gauteng were represented at the event, where deserving local businesses were nominated by their customers, after which a panel of judges selected winners from the top ten finalists.
Tom Stuart, Chief Marketing Officer at Lulalend said: “The Small Business Awards is aimed at giving small businesses with the potential to tangibly impact the lives of their community, as well as build and grow their brand, a chance to do just that. It provides a unique platform to recognise and showcase local SMEs that are going above and beyond.”
The top three businesses were each given a significant cash injection, as well as an advertising opportunity on Cape Talk or 702.
In Cape Town, mag wheel repair company Magmaster walked away with the grand prize of a R100,000 Cape Talk advertising package and R200,000 in cash from Lulalend, while runners up Ocean Jewels Seafood and roofing contractor SBS Waterproofing both received R50,000 in radio advertising and in cash.
On the Joburg stage, the top spot was claimed by The Bread Box Bakery & Studio, followed closely by construction company NNI Services and D’ntle Beauty.
Stuart continued: “It has been a privilege to sponsor and support South African SMEs that deliver excellent service and positively impact their communities. An even bigger honour for us was the opportunity to mingle with all of our finalists at the awards ceremony, to hear their remarkable stories and celebrate their successes.”
Irina Vlad, Managing Director at Ivie Media said: “Lulalend started out as a small business that leapt to great heights in a short period of time. As their media agency, we jumped at the opportunity for them to partner with the 702 / Cape Talk Small Business Awards, as we knew it would be a perfect fit for the company, in terms of what they – and we – stand for.”
Vlad concluded: “As a small business ourselves, it has been very special to partner with Lulalend, and witness the massive impact that the Small Business Awards have had on other small businesses. Growing brands is at the heart of Ivie Media’s business model and this event and partnership speaks directly to that, which is why we are very proud to be involved.”