Three Funds You Can Tap into Right Now

Three Funds You Can Tap into Right Now


R300 million funding for square pegs

Business Partner’s manufacturing fund aims to support South Africa’s long-term growth, and calls on ‘square peg in round hole ‘treps’ to make it happen.

What is it?

The Business Partners manufacturing Fund is an SME Risk Capital Fund which has allocated R300 million for investments. It is directed at stimulating and supporting entrepreneurial involvement in a sector that has the potential to accelerate the country’s development. The manufacturing sector contributed 15,2% to South Africa’s GDP in 2013, making it the third-largest contributor to the nation’s economy.

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The fund will provide investment that will result in import replacement, such as through the introduction of new products and processes currently not available or performed in South Africa, or an export promotion, such as access to new markets.

Who qualifies?

Finance is offered to manufacturers in the following sectors:

  • Agri-processing,
  • engineering,
  • textiles and clothing production,
  • information and communications technology (ICT),
  • electronics,
  • automotive and chemical,
  • green industries,
  • as well as new innovation and technologies.

How to apply for finance

To find out more, call 0861 763 346, email or visit

Medium-term finance for growing businesses

GroFin’s investment approach is based on entrepreneurial ability and commitment. Development financier GroFin finances and supports small, growing businesses that require medium-term (four to seven years) finance of between $100 000 and $1,5 million (or the rand equivalent).

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What is it?

GroFin believes that the key success factor of a business is the entrepreneur and its investment approach is largely based on assessing an entrepreneur’s ability and commitment to make the business a success.

It invests in businesses that are owned and managed by entrepreneurs who have a track record and industry expertise, are committed to professionalising the business and putting in place financial management systems and good governance, have an own investment in the business, and have growth ambitions.

Investment is in the form of local currency, medium-term, self-liquidating debt that has a repayment structure aligned with the business cash flows. While owner investment is preferred, a lack of collateral will not disqualify a business, but will form part of the risk assessment and pricing structure.

Who qualifies?

To qualify, your business should have:

  • Fewer than 150 employees
  • An annual turnover not exceeding $15 million
  • Gross assets not exceeding $6 million.

How to apply for finance

To find out more, call +27 (0)12 998 8280, email, or visit

Support programme for incubators

The Department of Trade and Industry (the DTI) has an Incubation Support Programme (ISP) to develop sustainable businesses.

The ISP aims to ensure that SMEs become sustainable and enter into the mainstream economy. It encourages partnerships in which big businesses assist SMEs with skills transfer, enterprise development, supplier development and marketing opportunities.

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The following costs are eligible for support:

  • Business development services
  • Market access
  • Machinery, equipment and tools
  • Infrastructure such as buildings, furniture
  • Feasibility studies for establishing and expanding incubators
  • Product or service development
  • Information and communication technology (ICT)
  • Operational costs.

Grant support

  • Grant approval is based on projections for the first year at application stage.
  • All payments will be made directly to the incubator’s primary account.
  • The grant approval is capped at a maximum of R10 million (VAT inclusive) per financial year over a three-year period.
  • The ISP offers a cost-sharing support of 50:50 for large businesses and a cost-sharing of 40:60 for SMEs.

Who qualifies?

The applicant must either be a registered legal entity in South Africa in terms of the Companies Act, the Close Corporations Act, or the Co-operatives Act, or be a registered higher or further education institution, or be a licensed or registered science council.

The programme is available to applicants who want to establish new incubators or wish to grow and expand existing ones.

How to apply for finance

To find out more, call +27 (0)12 394 1073, email, or visit

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