A R75-million fund to assist black-owned and managed small businesses in the Northern Cape has been established by the provincial Department of Economic Development and Tourism (Dedat), in partnership with the National Empowerment Fund (NEF).
Department spokesperson Ali Diteme said that the aim of the established “Northern Cape Blended SMME Fund” is to provide funding to local entrepreneurs across all sectors of the provincial economy.
“The Department of Economic Development and Tourism has contributed R30 million to the partnership, which will be used for non-refundable grants of up to R4 million per transaction, with 60% comprising a refundable loan portion from the NEF’s contribution of R45 million to the Blended Fund. A business must only pay back 60% of the loan”, said Diteme.
“Access to business is one of the challenges faced by small businesses in the country. More than 70% of small businesses fail in their first two years due to, among others, lack of access to finance and markets.”
Diteme said that amongst the major criteria that would be taken into consideration when businesses apply for funding, are: Businesses that have majority ownership by black entrepreneurs; where there is black women participation; the aim of the business is to create jobs; and businesses with commercial sustainability.
He urged local business owners to log onto the website [email protected] or to contact the department for further information.