South Africa’s four major banks offer various development and funding opportunities for new and developing businesses.


Absa offers a number of funding and support opportunities for small to medium enterprises (SMEs). These include:

The Nedbank Enterprise Development Programme

Nedbank offers growing businesses flexible financial solutions and business strategy mentorship.

Joining the programme includes access to a number of resources including flexible lending; customised credit facilities to suit your industry; business mentorship and training and networking opportunities.

Black-owned businesses that meet specific criteria in either their start-up phase (less than two years) or development phase (older than two years) qualify.

  • For more information, visit the Nedbank website. Alternatively, contact 0860 116 400 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or use the call-me-back service.

Standard Bank Enterprise Development

Through its Enterprise Development partnership with SMEs, Standard Bank provides access to markets, buying opportunities, capital and business development.

The development solution is offered primarily to BEE companies that have gained access to earning opportunities from corporates or the public sector. Standard Bank follows an “unusual” enterprise development approach: A business must contact the bank after selecting a supplier. The bank will then provide financial assistance to the supplier to help it meet its obligations.

Businesses that are either 51% black-owned or 30% black-women owned and companies that want to sell equity to become more BEE viable can apply.

  • Visit the website or contact Vuyelwa Ndlovu on 011 344 5980 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Vumela Enterprise Development Fund (FNB)

The Vumela Enterprise Development Fund was launched by FNB together with Edge Growth to fill the gaps in the SME funding and support landscape.

The fund offers BEE capital, growth finance and intensive business development support to SMEs that show potential, but that cannot get funding through traditional channels.

Early-stage, post-revenue expanding businesses (in other words, businesses already generating revenue) with high growth potential qualify if they are too large for microfinance; do not meet traditional credit criteria and are viewed as too early-stage by potential funders.

Vumela funds businesses in many sectors but does not fund agriculture (cultivation, growing and harvesting of commodities or raising of livestock), mining, property or businesses in the “sin” industries (like alcohol or gambling).

You will find the online application form here. A detailed business plan and financial history is required when applying.

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