For COVID-19 updates, visit the official government website for free.

Vodacom Now!

Before lockdown, more than 250 000 formal small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) were estimated to operate in South Africa. Now, a sobering study by the Global Entrepreneurship Network has reported that almost 55 000 of those SMMEs will not survive the year.

Limited access to bridging finance is a major reason why SMMEs are failing and despite the initial hope of business funding support to keep companies afloat during lockdown, this hasn’t been comprehensive enough under the severe economic impact of the pandemic. Many businesses, despite being experts in trade and the production and sale of products and services, struggle to navigate our complex financial environment, especially when it’s no longer “business as usual”.

But fortunately there are some SMME success stories and one of them is the partnership between M6T Seal Cargo and VodaLend.

In 2017 a group of seven young entrepreneurs saw a gap in the freight forwarding and customs clearing space and the business was born. M6T’s vision was to be proudly South African and is a 100% black-owned and 36% black woman-owned business. Its core values of authenticity, hard work, service orientation and flexibility have helped M6T remain focused, and the business is community-inspired, with 1% of profits going to CSI projects through the M6T Foundation.


Mpho Masemola, M6T’s Finance Manager, shares the experience of running a small business during the unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

'When we started, we only had enough capital to secure premises, second-hand office furniture, industry-related software and a basic ICT infrastructure. This was obviously a short-term solution, and sooner or later more working capital would be needed.

Within 48 hours, we had the R250 000 loan we needed!

'In December 2019, we decided to approach VodaLend, after a partner had heard about its products in a radio interview. What an inspired decision this was! The process was smooth and within 48 hours we had the R250 000 loan we needed. We were good to go.

'Just having made it this far is an inspiring entrepreneurial journey, but it didn’t end there. Four months later COVID-19 and the nationwide lockdown arrived. No business plan could have predicted this.  

'Everything changed. Borders and major trade lanes were closed. Most of the goods we transport weren’t considered essential, so we had to shut our offices for six weeks, with little activity and only management working from home.

'When lockdown restrictions were eased at Level 4, we returned to the office with some of our customers also reopening. Fortunately, our small size allowed us to absorb the blow without suffering much significant damage compared to the bigger players in our sector.

'VodaLend was a godsend! People have the perception that there’s no funding for small businesses, but VodaLend is there and has a simple process. They showed their human side too during the COVID pandemic and offered us a three-month payment holiday because our revenue had decreased as a result of reduced volumes in international trade.'

Get the support your business needs today – find out more about Vodacom's VodaLend here

Suggested Posts

New year, new financial goals

Nafisa Akabor | 12th Jan 21

View more
If you’re looking to invest in fractional shares, shares, unit trusts, or solidify your goals, here are our top five picks on where to begin.
Nafisa Akabor27 Followers

Mobile Payment Solutions

Nafisa Akabor | 25th Nov 20

View more
The global pandemic has prompted us to go digital in almost every aspect of business. Now more than ever we are seeing establishments ask for digital payments instead of cash.
Nafisa Akabor27 Followers

Raise Money-Savvy Kids

Vodacom | 14th Sep 20

View more
Worried they’ll always think money grows on trees? Teach your child about saving with these age-appropriate online tools.
Vodacom 533 Followers