The NEF provides funds to black entrepreneurs and groups with the aim of facilitating access to finance in support of Broad-Based BEE in terms of government legislation. The investment activities of the NEF are guided by an investment policy that seeks to ensure that investments create real economic empowerment for black people without deviating from sound economic principles.
Each application for funding is assessed in terms of the following criteria:
Commercial viability of the business case being presented
The business must comply with all relevant laws and regulations
There must be operational involvement at the managerial and board levels by black people
Minimum percentage of black ownership or interest of 50.1% is a requirement
The business must be able to repay NEF funding
The business must create a reasonable number of jobs
Geographic location of the business is also important with the focus on rural or economically depressed areas encouraged
Meaningful black women participation is viewed more favourably
Rural and Community Development Projects must have meaningful participation by communities
Possibility of co-funding with private or public sector institutions is encouraged in larger project.