The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has launched a R1-billion Transformation and Entrepreneurship Scheme (TES) to serve the financing and entrepreneurial needs of South Africa's marginalised groups.


The initiative is an umbrella scheme incorporating five funds which include the Women's Entrepreneurial Fund (R400-million), Equity Contribution Fund (R150-million), People with Disabilities Fund (R50-million), as well as the existing IDC Development Fund for Workers (R250-million) and the IDC Foundation Fund for Communities (R150-million).
The funds will also include an investment and business support grant.
The scheme is designed to facilitate the development of targeted marginalised entrepreneurs and enable them to access financing as well as serve as a propeller for new entrants into the formal sector entrepreneurial activity. It will be managed by the IDC's Risk Capital Facility unit.
"We are committed to creating sustainable economic development opportunities through the funding and promotion of enterprises and industries with a strong job creation element especially in SME and BEE transactions," says IDC CEO Geoffrey Qhena.
Qhena says that, while setting a benchmark for development finance by investing in higher-risk projects, the scheme would complement existing funds provided by the IDC.  The ring-fenced scheme aims to act as a catalyst for the targeted entrepreneurs by providing high-risk and largely concessional capital for start-up businesses, acquisitions and expansions.
"The scheme will develop marginalised entrepreneurs – it is also intended to have strong bias towards black women-owned enterprises."