After conducting the first country-wide startup survey and noting that funding is seen as a major stumbling block for a lot of entrepreneurs, business incubator and skills development outfit Seed Academy has launched an ambitious (and free) ebook any entrepreneur should read: The Essential Guide to Funding in South Africa.

The guide was compiled to help entrepreneurs learn about the basics of funding in the South African startup industry and how to secure cash if your business is aimed at women, green projects, mining, manufacturing, technology and so on.

“It is clear from Seed Academy’s first startup survey, and after training hundreds of entrepreneurs, that raising funds is the most common concern,” said Donna Rachelson, chief catalyst at Seed Academy. “There clearly was a serious gap – tremendous demand for funding, substantial funding available but the entrepreneurs had a knowledge gap. This practical guide aims to show entrepreneurs just how much support is actually available and how to go about applying for it.”

It also explores traditional forms of funding such as loans, grants, angel investment and “new age” types of financial backing such as crowdfunding on the internet.

“Advice offered suggests that whether or not an entrepreneur is successful in getting the funding they set out for, an important lesson is that ‘some will, some won’t, who cares, who’s next?!’ There will always be opportunities to pitch for funding via different avenues and entrepreneurs are encouraged to be resilient and persistent,” Seed Academy said.

What’s really interesting about the book is that readers are encouraged to submit edits for the next version, so it’s aiming to be a crowdsourced, Wiki-style guide to doing business for the whole nation.

Seed Academy has also announced it will be hosting a funding speed dating evening to celebrate the launch of the ebook.

The event takes place on 17th September at the Leaderex conference in Sandton and will link investors and entrepreneurs to help the them understand what each party is looking for from the other, and entrepreneurs will also have the chance to pitch their startups directly to funders.

Visit the Seed Academy website to download The Essential Guide to Funding in South Africa and sign up for the speed dating evening. Applications close on the 25th of August.

[Image – CC 2.0 by Rocío Lara]