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Project Support

Cedar Consulting Services offers project support services with a focus on SMEs in Africa. SMEs provide a good engine for economic growth and are a channel for local entrepreneurial development in most African countries.

Our main objectives are to:

  • Carry out Impact assessments on behalf of interested parties with a focus on SMEs
  • Assist with Project Evaluation and other support services along the project cycle
  • Provide Research services; collate data on behalf of SME associations so as to put a case up for financing . Data can also be collated on behalf of financiers and other organizations.
  • Provide training and development support to SMEs so as to enhance their effectiveness
  • Provide information to SMEs on existing SME facilities and services within the markets
  • Support entrepreneurial skills amongst local people in Africa, through coaching and other means
  • Provide follow up services for feedback and continuous improvement
Our mission in this area is driven by the knowledge that SMEs face a lot of challenges which stop them from realizing their potential.

Some of these challenges are:-

    Inability to access funding:-

    In most countries there are several programmes and funding schemes for SMEs. However like any funding scheme, most of them stipulate minimum access requirements, which can be as basic as, company registration certificates, financial statements or business plans. Some SMEs do not know how to put the required information together. They sometimes engage external provider services for the compilation of the required information but unfortunately some of the providers overcharge them or cheat them out of their money. For the fund providers though, the basics are the minimum that can facilitate funding and are not negotiable. This therefore means that deserving SMEs end up failing to access funds because of their inability to meet basic requirements.

    We have realized that this is a big challenge and we work with SMEs to create the understanding that is required and help them provide the necessary documentation whilst involving them so that they will in future realize that the process is not intimidating. Even if they keep on relying on external providers, they need to understand what the external providers will be providing them with so as to be able to provide accurate information and to add value to the documentation. The training we do take different forms depending on the circumstances and it can be for groups or one on one and in most cases there are follow up sessions.

    Lack of financial discipline:-In the SMEs sector, some, especially the Micro and Small enterprises, fail to separate their business from personal operations. As a result, funds meant for business can be easily channeled into personal operations and in most cases this then affects the ability to repay or the ability to realize the benefits of the funding.

    Lack of funding:-In some markets there are no specific SME financing facilities and most banks do not have the capacity to carter for the Micro and Small enterprises.

    Poor business principles:-Some businesses have the talent, get access to funds but the Directors do not have the principles required for success. As an example, customer service is a big issue in growing and sustaining businesses, but in the SME sector, customer service barely gets even Lip service. Most SMEs pay attention to production and supply and have not come to the realization that service provision before, during and after the sale is critical for success.

    Little or no exposure to the right markets:-Due to lack of exposure, some SMEs do not know how to access big markets or simply the right markets for their products. This results in them realizing less from their businesses and in most cases they then end up supplying middlemen who then supply to the bigger markets. This can curtail SME growth if the middleman practices are not sound.

    Inability to spot and take advantages of opportunities available to them: - Even though opportunities may exist, some SMEs fail to take advantage of them because they do not know about them. At times they fail to interpret events and to see the opportunities that exist for them.

According to a Research that we recently carried out, most local SMEs do not access some services available to them because of the following reasons:-
        • They do not understand the system enough to trust it, "What if we sign documents that will make us lose our businesses in the future? "
        • They do not understand the documentation and they find it intimidating, so the best is not to try
        • Misguided belief that "Some of these things are for educated people"
        • "Some people who came pretending to be helping ended up cheating us so how do we know that this time it is different?" In agriculture for example, some of them signed up to input schemes where a big corporate provides support for them to grow crops and the sell to the corporate on harvesting. Some got burnt because they did not manage the process well and ended up not getting paid any money for the crop they supplied, or they got way less than they expected, because of the grading system. These and other reasons have made some of them lose faith in these seemingly good opportunities that come up from time to time. We found out though, that in such instances, the SMEs did not understand what they were signing for
        • They are simply afraid to try.

As Cedar Consulting Services, we therefore fill in the gaps in the SME sector with a bias towards skill development and information provision so as to arm the SMEs with the necessary tools for growth.
Cedar PTY
Cedar PTY
Cedar PTY

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+27 11 455 7226
0866 449 343
+27 61 885 7174
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