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Are startups eligible for funding with Lula?

Are start ups eligible for funding with Lula

Here at Lula, we’re often getting asked whether we lend to startup businesses, so we thought we’d address this question in a blog post. The truth is, there is no straightforward answer. It really depends on a few things, as well as what is meant by the term ‘startup’. Therefore, in short, our answer is yes and no.

Having communicated with a few people who have asked us this question, we’ve come to learn that people have different ideas about what is meant by the term ‘startup’.

What is meant by the term startup?

    1. A business that has not gotten off the ground yet and is only beginning to develop. These businesses often don’t have much history and are still building a customer base
    2. A technology-driven, innovative business that has a high potential for growth but is still only an idea or prototype
    3. A business that is fairly new, has only been operating for a few years but is turning a profit and has a handful of employees or is operated solely by the director/s

The reality is there are no real metrics that determine when a startup is a startup, or when it ticks over to an established business. The age of the business, its total worth, and the size or number of employees do not necessarily qualify it as a startup. So because of this uncertainty, the term ‘startup’ can almost refer to a type of business rather than a particular stage of a business’ life. In this case, being a startup seems to be more about company culture, work environments and business models rather than how young the business itself is.

Because people have different ideas about what constitutes a startup and at what point a startup becomes an established business we’ve provided more clarity below on what we mean by ‘we do and don’t lend to startups’.

What makes a startup eligible for a loan with Lula?

At Lulalend, we assess loans based on historical transaction history, which means we don’t ask to see a business plan or future projections. In fact, we don’t require all the document-intensive requests that banks and traditional lenders ask for. Rather, what we are most concerned about is the progress you have made to date with your business, as this is an important factor as we assess your ability to pay back the loan.

Startups eligible for a loan:

  • Businesses that have been trading for at least one year and have transactional history to prove this
  • Businesses that are making a monthly turnover of R40 000 / annual turnover of R500 000
  • Businesses that are registered South African businesses

Startups not eligible for a loan:

  • Businesses that have no history of trading
  • Businesses that have no account or transaction history or trade only in cash
  • Businesses that are looking for a loan to get their business started/seed an idea or prototype

If you’re unsure whether your business will qualify or you have any other questions about startup business loans, you can give us a call at 087 943 2381 or email us on

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