What criteria do you use to assess applicants?
While those applying for funding from the Gauteng Partnership Fund (GPF) are meeting a social need by developing low cost housing, they are still in business. Not everyone can be an entrepreneur. Someone must demonstrate that they have thought their plan through, and either acquired land or made an offer to purchase. If they are targeting the rental market, have they already got tenants interested in the property? They also need to ensure that they meet all the regulatory requirements.
What about their personal attributes?
We look for serious property entrepreneurs. We ask if they have what it takes to make it. Some of the things we look for in the application stage include entrepreneurial flair, the ability to have thought through a project and whether or not they have considered the risks. We also investigate whether or not the applicant can service the loan. Having skin in the game (own funds) also plays a role.
How can you tell if a person has what it takes?
We look at their passion. It is easy to see from the way a person presents their letter of enquiry — you can tell if they put thought into it. We also look at what sacrifices they are willing to make. If a person says they are not prepared to take the risk by leaving their full-time job to focus on the project, why should we take the risk of funding them? If they are really passionate they will leave everything else to commit to success.
How important is a business qualification?
We usually look at whether or not a person has some sort of business qualification or if they ran the same business before. We usually advise people to take some courses or do some business training to be sure that they have some knowledge of the basics, including bookkeeping and how to market their business.