NEF Online Application 2023 Form Portal –

Filed in Grants by on January 27, 2023 0 Comments
NEF Online Application

About The National Empowerment Fund

Established by the National Empowerment Fund Act No 105 of 1998 (NEF Act), the National Empowerment Fund (the NEF) is a driver and thought-leader in promoting and facilitating black economic participation by providing financial and non-financial support to black-owned and managed businesses, and by promoting a culture of savings and investment among black people. The operations of the NEF are governed by the Public Finance Management Act No 1 of 1991 (PFMA), including the National Treasury Regulations, the King III Report on Governance for South Africa and the Protocol on Corporate Governance in the Public Sector, 2002.


The NEF’s vision is to become the leading provider of innovative transformation solutions for an economically inclusive South Africa.


The NEF is a catalyst for Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) in South Africa. We promote, enable, implement and develop innovative investment and transformation solutions to advance sustainable black economic participation in the economy.

NEF Online Application Details

Having read and understood how the NEF is structured to assist black entrepreneurs and businesses, the next logical step is to do a self-needs analysis to see how the NEF is able to assist you and your business needs.

To engage them is as simple as taking the first step of filling in an application form that will present your business case for assessment based on the criteria described above.

Your proposal needs to contain comprehensive information to support the commercial viability and the financial position of your business. A business plan guideline has been provided on the application form, to highlight the various topics you need to cover when making your submission.

Once your application has been received it will be entered into a deal-flow pipeline when it has fulfilled the mandatory requirements and it will go through various processes, summarised by the diagram on the left hand side, towards final approval and disbursement of the funds.

NEF Funding Criteria

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 projects.

Once your application has been received and found to meet the above conditions, it will then go through different stages for a detailed commercial assessment.

Required Documents for NEF Funding

Please provide us with the applicable documents as outlined below;


  • Regrettably, if you do not submit all of these documents together there will be a delay in processing your application form.
  • From receipt of the application to approval stage the process can take 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Our process period is 3 to 4 months on receipt of the application up to  disbursement stage.

How to Apply for NEF Funding

To apply for the National Empowerment Fund, prospective candidates are encouraged to visit the official website here:

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