The National Empowerment Fund (NEF) has entered into a partnership with the Sun City Resort to set up an R6m Enterprise Supplier Development Fund aimed at fast-tracking the country’s economic recovery agenda through Tourism & Hospitality. NEF Reginal manager in the North West province Isaac Lelaka said this week that both Sun City Resort and NEF had identified one of the potential levers towards unlocking the economy as, Enterprise and Supplier Development.
He said the two entities (NEF and Sun City Resort) contributed R3m each towards the ESD fund with the goal of broadening and increasing the participation of Black-Owned businesses in the Sun City value chain and the Tourism sector in the North West province. “Therefore, there is an undertaking to engage various key stakeholders (especially the SMME community) including other relevant local economic development institutions within the local/neighbouring communities to Sun City Resort,” he said.
“The intention is to invest in enterprise and supplier development, socio-economic development, stakeholder engagements, preferential local procurement and general skills development within Sun City’s local communities and the North West Province. “Through this ESD we also hope to address a market failure through access to funding. Funding administered by the NEF will be provided to applicants qualifying for NEF financial support where commercial viability of the project has been proven.” said Lelaka.
He explained the eligibility criteria to include that the company should be majority (51% and above) black-owned and must be black management controlled (as defined by the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Act). He said the company should be a registered legal entity in South Africa and be a current or potential registered supplier with Sun City/ Sun International or have a purchase order/contract/letter of intent.
“The business must prove commercial viability and sustainability as per the NEF funding criteria. “Once registered under the ESD fund entrepreneurs will be receiving Ongoing mentorship support because globally, 30% of start-ups fail in the first 2 years. Less than 50% survive beyond 4 years,” said Lelaka. He said the NEF has more than 140 Mentors nationally to assist mainly with, financial mentoring & coaching, expert advice on strategy and operations, and improving the chances of the business to succeed. All this is provided for free to NEF investees.