Small Business Loans for Black Entrepreneurs

Updated on 27 June 2024

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business loans for black entrepreneurs
Being an entrepreneur is a rewarding but tough business. You are responsible for the products, delivery (sometimes), accounting, customer experience etc. However, you can not become an entrepreneur without the necessary capital. This is where small business loans or funding come in.

Entrepreneurship is when you have a business idea and act upon it. These ideas are usually market disruptors and bring a new product/service to the people.

For any business idea, you need money to make it happen. You can achieve this by applying for a small business loan or entrepreneurial funding.

Loans are a form of funding that you must pay back. Unlike funding, loans have some restrictions on them. Like cash advances, which may only be used for things like covering payroll.

In South Africa, black entrepreneurs can explore the funding opportunities available in the Department of Small Business Development. There are also private investors looking to put money into the next big thing, that could be you.

Let’s look at some of the funding opportunities for black entrepreneurs in South Africa.

NEF Women Empowerment Fund (WEF)

The NEF Women Empowerment Fund is designed to help black women with businesses. Funding begins at R 250 000 and goes up to R 75 million across a range of sectors. The fund is designed for startups, expansion for existing entrepreneurs, and equity acquisition purposes.

The WEF uses a range of funding options. These include secured (senior debt) to unsecured (equity) options or a hybrid of the two.

The WEF has a list of requirements for funding:

  • Minimum of 51% black female ownership.
  • Operational involvement at the managerial and board levels by black women.
  • Present the commercial viability of the business.
  • Comply with all relevant laws and regulations.
  • Be able to repay WEF for its funding.
  • Create employment.
  • Businesses must be located in a rural or underdeveloped area.
  • Co-funding with private or public sector institutions is promoted in larger projects.
  • Property transactions require that 51% of the annual expenditure of the business be allocated to majority black-owned businesses.

The application process is divided into six steps:

  • Screening of your funding application form.
  • Submission of your application form to the Investment Committee.
  • Your application is put through a due diligence process.
  • Resubmission of the final report of your application.
  • Legal process and procedures.
  • Disbursement of funds to you.

To get in touch with the NEF, contact the head office on +27 (11) 305 8000. You can also send your applications to

Enablis Acceleration Fund

The fund is a partnership between Enablis and Khula Enterprise Finance Limited. The initiative aims to improve access for SMEs to early-stage funding. The fund also supports SMEs that are developing in rural or underserved areas.

The Enablis Acceleration Fund offers equity and debt instruments over a loan period of 60 months. To qualify for the fund, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an accredited SME by the Enablis Entrepreneurial Network.
  • Be a black woman-owned start-up.
  • Funds must be used for the expansion of the business.
  • Business must be in ICT, transport, tourism, agriculture, or services industry.
  • Only SMEs looking for working capital and/or asset finance can apply.

To be considered for the fund, click on the ‘Join Enablis’ link and fill out the application form.

SME Fund

The SME fund is a partnership between Telkom and Business Unity South Africa. The initiative provides funding, mentorship, and exposure to participating SMEs and entrepreneurs.

The main aim of the fund is to invest in businesses that are scalable and can contribute to economic growth. The target market of the fund is small businesses that:


Traditional banks have several offerings for small businesses. Some of the banks include Nedbank, Capitec, Standard Bank, FNB, and Tyme Bank amongst many others. To get a loan from these banks, you will need to meet the requirements. These include:

  • A proper business plan.
  • At least one year of business operation.
  • Proof of business collateral.
  • Three to six months bank statements.
  • Your company must register with the CIPC.

You can apply for business loans directly on each banks’ website.


Financial services provider Sasfin has a private equity funding option for small businesses. The solution provides equity capital to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses and be able to continue operating.

The company assists with strategy design and execution. Where necessary, the company will bring in industry experts and co-investors to grow the business further. Capital provided per deal ranges from R 10 to R 40 million. Sasfin has a particular interest in businesses in the fintech industry.

For more information on Sasfin funding, please contact Sasfin at 011 809 7500 or e-mail

To get these funding opportunities or loans, you will have to meet requirements. Each opportunity has its own criteria. These can range from business plans to collateral. You have to ensure that you have the correct documentation to take your application further.

For more funding and loan information visit the SME South Africa website

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