The following are extracts from the presentation made at the MoU signing between SAWIC&BE and SHRA, by Ms Hlengiwe Makhathini, National Empowerment Fund (NEF), Divisional executive for Venture Capital and Corporate Finance.
The NEF is a firm believer in the expression “To fund a woman, is to fund a nation.” “That is why through the Women Empowerment Fund the NEF is determined to multiply the volume of businesses that are owned and run by black women, whether for start- up, expansion, in construction, property, student accommodation, social housing, procurement, rural and community development, manufacturing, service, industrial development, tourism, franchising and more. We do this because the NEF is the refuge and bastion for the economic empowerment of black women. We are here today to say to our partner, the Social housing Regulatory Authority (SHRA) that you can count on the NEF to help take this important agreement forward, through innovative funding of black women in construction and across the value chain of the sector and its allied industries.
To qualify for NEF funding of between R250 000 and R75-million, a business must be:
- Majority black-owned and managed
- Black woman empowerment is critical for the NEF, and we wish to see a minimum 50.1% black women ownership, management, and control.
- Because job creation is a key national priority, the NEF wishes to see meaningful temporary and operational employment accruing from the businesses that we fund.
- In line with national policies the NEF funds growth sectors such a construction.
- Whilst there is no discrimination amongst provinces the NEF wishes to fund businesses in developing provinces such as Northern Cape, North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, and Free State.
- Equally important, the NEF wants to fund sustainable and commercially viable businesses to contribute to national growth.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, SAWIC can take comfort in the knowledge that construction is the NEF’s largest funded sector, with investments in excess of R785-million and comprises 14.41% of our total invested portfolio.
“In conclusion I wish to make members of SAWIC&BE aware that two weeks ago the NEF launched its economic Distress fund, in partnership with the Dept of Trade, Industry and Competition. The purpose is to provide concessionary business loans from R250 000 up to R 10-million to black owned and manged enterprises that are in financial distress because of the Covid-19 pandemic.”