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Although South Africa limped into the new year with an expected growth below 1%, and despite grim headlines, there are still pockets of opportunity for professional, well-organised entrepreneurs – this according to the management team at Cullinan Financial Services. 

Instability and market volatility

“Concerns about social instability, uncertain economic growth, and populism, mean that the prevailing sentiment this year is one of caution,” says Michael Barr, Chairman at Cullinan Financial Services. “In addition, 2019 is an election year in South Africa, and we can expect more turmoil than before, on all levels.” 

Not just within our borders, but worldwide, adds CEO Lance Tollman. “The USA and UK are in unchartered waters, and Germany, the biggest economy in Europe, is potentially heading for technical recession.” 

Says Barr: “Things will only improve in South Africa once the balance of power has shifted and President Ramaphosa has secured his position. Until then, there’ll be lack of confidence and minimal decision making.” 

Cautiously bullish

However, Barr adds that in the face of increasing uncertainty, he is cautiously bullish. “Notwithstanding the economic landscape in South Africa and the world, we’re here to do business – no matter what the economy is like.” 

Tollman agrees. “Cullinan Financial Services is a division of Cullinan Holdings, and has the full support of the business behind it.”  

Cullinan Holdings Ltd is a leading company within the tourism, leisure and financial services sector, and owns some of South Africa’s premier brands, including Thompsons, Pentravel, Hylton Ross and Springbok Atlas. The group is also a subsidiary of The Travel Corporation, a global tourism and travel business which owns some of the most iconic brands worldwide, including Trafalgar, Contiki Tours, The Red Carnation Hotel Group and Uniworld River Cruising among others.  

“To be 100% backed by our parent company places us in a unique position.” says Tollman. “We are empowered to take a ‘business as usual’ approach, despite market volatility.” 

Calling all entrepreneurs

Both Barr and Tollman insist there are untapped opportunities in the current volatile market.    

“Entrepreneurs worldwide have demonstrated that no matter what the market conditions are, be it a good or bad market; a recession or no recession, they see the opportunities,” says Barr. “These are the entrepreneurs we want to back – the guys who know their market. Not the cowboys.” 

However, applying for finance through a traditional financial institution means that entrepreneurs run the risk of missing these opportunities. “We’re not a bank; we’re agile,” says Tollman. “We can adapt creatively to changing financing needs and make decisions within as little as 48 hours. Plus, we offer highly competitive interest rates.” 

“If these entrepreneurs can find us, and we can service their needs, then it’s a win-win,” concludes Tollman.