NATIONAL EMPOWERMENT FUND                         

The NEF is a driver and thought leader in promoting and facilitating black economic participation by providing financial and non-financial support to black empowered businesses, and promoting a culture of savings and investment among black people. The NEF is an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry mandated to grow black economic participation. Accordingly, its funding mandate is directed by the codes of good practice on Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, as well as by the industrial policy action plan (IPAP). The NEF provides business loans from R250 000 to R75 million across a range of sectors, for start-up, expansion and equity acquisition purposes. A key requirement for NEF funding is for the investees to be directly involved in the operations of their businesses. 

Products offered by NEF

There are many products offered by NEF; however, this book only focused on the agricultural-related funds i.e. entrepreneurship fund and rural and community development fund. Entrepreneurship fund is mainly for starting a new business and can be financed from R250 000 - R10 million. Rural and community development fund targets agri-processing, tourism, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing etc. The amount that can be financed to a project ranges from R1 million – R50 million.

Funding criteria

  • Each application for funding is assessed in terms of the following criteria:
  • Minimum percentage of black ownership or interest.
  • Black women empowerment.
  • Black managerial and operational involvement.
  • Commercial viability of the business, product criteria.
  • Job creation.
  • Geographic location of the business (rural/urban/disadvantaged areas).
  • Community involvement.
  • Compliance with all the relevant laws and regulations.
  • Return on investment.
  • The possibility of co-funding with another public or private sector institution.

Contact details

 Location Physical address Contact number
Cape Town 28th Floor, ABSA Centre,
2 Riebeeck Street 
Tel: 021 431 4760










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