5 Funding Programmes Aimed At Developing Women-led Businesses

Aug, 28 2020·3 min read

Africa boasts as a world leader when it comes to women in entrepreneurship, and we continue to see a rise of programmes and intervention from both the Government and private sectors to support women in entrepreneurship.

Spotting a gap in the market is probably the less stressful part of starting a business. The difficulty is in finding the right funding and support groups to help you grow that idea into a thriving business.

We have put together a list of funding programmes to help you.

1. IDF Capital

IDF Capital is a female-owned company, with the goal of becoming a catalyst for economic growth across Africa. Their services offer entrepreneurs access to both financial and intelligent support needed for their business to grow.

IDF Capital has formed a partnership with Nigerian Private Equity Firm, Alitheia Capital, to form Alitheia IDF. This brand gave birth to the Alitheia IDF’s Gender Smart Fund which aims at financing and supporting women-led business.

Qualifying Criteria:

Your business has to be 51% or more

  • Black-owned and managed, or
  • Black women and managed business, or
  • Black youth-owned and managed business.

Click here to find out more about IDF Capital and Alitheia IDF.

2. NEF Women Empowerment Fund (WEF)

The WEF aims at advancing the provision of funding to women-owned business. It provides funding to start-ups, expansions, and equity acquisition purposes, from R250 000 to R75 million.

Qualifying Criteria:

  • The business needs to show the ability to repay WEF Funding
  • 51% Or more female ownership
  • Have black women in managerial and board level positions
  • Creation of jobs

    These are just four points of the nine points mentioned on their website.

3. Isivande Women’s Fund

The Isivande Women’s Fund is a Department of Trade and Industries initiative that aims at empowering women by providing more affordable, usable and responsive finance to start-up enterprises and expansions.

Qualifying Criteria:

Registered company with 50% + 1 share of women ownership, and/or management

For more information, visit the Government Investments Incentives website.

4. Ya Basadi

The newest acceleration programme is the Ya Basadi programme, founded and created by the Wits University’s Tshimologong Precinct, with financial support from J.P. Morgan. The programme is aimed at developing established women-led businesses in the technology industry through business, tech, and financial support.

The application process, unfortunately, closed on the 6th of March 2020 and the programme has been running from the 4th of May. You can visit the Tshimologong Precinct website to find out about the next intake of the programme, and get advice on how to best prepare for the application process.

5. Absa’s Women Empowerment Finance

The Absa Women Empowerment Finance is a loan for new and existing women-owned businesses. Business owners can apply for any amount between R150 000 and R50 million, with repayment terms of up to 10 years. A big advantage is that Absa can assist you even if you do not have a deposit, collateral, or security.

Qualifying Criteria:

The business must show the evidence for future revenue and the ability to repay the loan.

  • The business must have at least 51% of Women ownership.
  • Have a viable business plan.
  • The applicant must have industry skills and expertise.
  • The business must have a business transactional account with Absa.

Visit Absa’s website for further information on their programme and other funding programmes that they have.

While getting the right funding is a vital point in running a successful business, it is also important to continue learning and networking with likeminded business people and organisations.

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