Established by the South African Government in 2011, the Jobs Fund creates jobs by supporting initiatives that generate employment in innovative ways. The Fund offers once-off grants in the areas of enterprise development, infrastructure, support for work seekers and institutional capacity building.

The Jobs Fund awards grants to organisations through a competitive project application process where only the best ideas are funded. Operating on challenge fund principles, the Fund ensures that funding allocations are transparent, open and competitive, and are made by an independent Investment Committee. The Jobs Fund accepts applications from the private, public and non-governmental sector during calls for proposals. Project partners are required to share both risk and costs by matching the grant fund allocation.

Since its inception in June 2011, the Jobs Fund has concluded four calls for proposals, with the fifth call for proposals currently being processed. Through the first four funding rounds the Jobs Fund has allocated R4.671 billion in grant funding to 90 approved projects. As at the end of March 2015, R2.514 billion has been disbursed to all implementing projects and these projects have to date created 47,967 new permanent jobs and placed 21,100 beneficiaries in permanent positions. It is anticipated that over the life of the portfolio of 90 projects, 130 000 new permanent jobs wi ll be created and 80 000 placements made.

The fourth call for proposals (CFP) was a “Scale-Up” round where existing Jobs Fund Partners (JFPs) were invited to submit a new proposal for scaling their existing projects. These JFPs needed to demonstrate that they have achieved ‘proof of concept’ and have drawn significant lessons from implementation. They also had to clearly outline how the initiative could be enhanced and taken to scale/replicated.

The fifth call for proposals targets the agricultural sector. The first application stage for this round, the Concept Note application, opened on 12 January 2015 and closed on 28 February 2015. Of the 211 applications received, 30 projects have been approved by the by the Jobs Fund Investment Committee (IC) to submit a full business case application. Million is earmarked for this CFP.

More than 90 projects have been approved, of which 81 are in implementation. For more information visit our website and read the PDF brochure below.



Our success stories

Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator

South Africans from the most marginalised backgrounds rarely get the chance to come into contact with potential employers. This is for multiple reasons: the social and geographic legacy of apartheid, the poor quality of schooling, high cost of transport, limited skills and experience. Experience is the determining factor in how likely a person is to gain formal employment, locking out millions of youth caught in the vicious cycle of not having experience and not being able to access it.

Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator helps thousands of young South Africans to get and keep their first job, in a way that simultaneously addresses the needs of employers and employees. Through extensive consultation with employers around their recruitment needs and challenges faced in hiring young people, Harambee has structured a rigorous bridging programme that directly addresses the needs of employers.

Tabea Nong, a single mother from Diepkloof Johannesburg, is a university graduate with an honours degree but has battled to find a full-time permanent job. “Harambee changed my life by giving me the opportunity to get employment, to be able to give my son a better life. The bridging experience introduced to me concepts that I was aware of but had not yet internalised, like maintaining a positive attitude, being disciplined and effective communication skills."​

Harambee recruits South African work-seekers between the ages of 18 and 28 from marginalised communities, who have not had permanent employment for twelve months and have been searching for work for at least six months.​

Whilst Harambee’s criteria for sourcing candidates is driven by its social impact objective, its selection of candidates from this pool, to be placed​
​​and/or bridged, is demand led. Harambee offers employers the option of tapping into all or parts of the value chain. Harambee’s application for funding to the Jobs Fund in 2011 was in the Support for Work-Seekers Funding Window, which seeks to link active work-seekers, especially the youth, to formal sector opportunities and job placement.​

“The Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator is one of the Jobs Fund’s flagship projects. The Fund’s objectives are well-aligned with the work that the programme is doing, that is to focus on the upliftment of youth and women”, says Najwah Allie-Edries, Head of The Jobs Fund.

Tabea is now a permanent employee of Imperial Health Sciences as a Compliance Coordinator, a role that she was promoted to after only ten months at the company. “My highlights so far have included flying for the first time, spending a month in Liberia on a training programme and being called out in front of the whole company by the MD as someone to watch."​

Jobs Fund Grant:   R120 million
Matched Funding:  R120 million​​

Harambee managed to exceed both of its performance indicator targets in the implementation period. Its first project concluded in January 2015.​​

• 18 000 short-term jobs
• 42 700 beneficiaries training
• 22 000 permanent placements with project partners
• 8 000 permanent placements beyond project partners​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Shanduka Black Umbrellas

Shanduka Black Umbrellas (SBU) is an innovative programme supported by the Jobs Fund that seeks to address low levels of entrepreneurship and high failure rates among black start-up businesses. SBU's fundamental purpose is to collaborate with partners in the private sector, government and civil society to address the low levels of entrepreneurship and high failure rate of 100% black-owned emerging businesses in South Africa.

​​The SBU incubator model provides a structured programme where beneficiaries are afforded professional services, including skills development, mentoring, access to markets and office infrastructure at a subsided rate, over a three-year period. This programme of interventions assists the entrepreneur to building a solid foundation for establishing and maintaining sustainable businesses.

Part of the Shanduka Black Umbrellas incubation programme, Thulare AB Kgafela, known as AB, is a young and vibrant filmmaker. He started out as a production and camera assistant in 2004. He became involved in scriptwriting, production planning, directing to editing and camera operating. The combined skills gave AB the upper hand in the industry. The South African film industry is growing steadily with international investors looking at the country with great interest.

“I started T-Tree media in 2012 while I was still under my previous employer, I had realised that I had hit the ceiling in what I was offering my employer and I was ready to face the real world of entrepreneurship”, said AB.
Shanduka Black Umbrellas has helped AB’s company to determine its key value proposition and core values thus creating a sound business plan that is investor ready. “They have helped me to identify my market share, sizing up my competitor and developing a compelling value proposition for my business, said AB.

SBU received a R10.5 million grant from the Jobs Fund and this is matched with R8 million from the project itself. To date they have created 207 permanent positions, thus exceeding their projected figures.

The strategic objective of Shanduka Black Umbrellas is that they have supported through the enterprises to ensure that at least 50% of all businesses selected for the programme meet the sustainability criteria. This is said to be more than double the national average where only 10% to 20% of start-up businesses survive beyond the first three years of their existence. The Jobs Fund is funding the SBU’s Durban and Pretoria incubator.​​

Jobs Fund Grant:   R10.5 million
Matched Funding:  R8.2 million

Although they have not yet reached the end of their implementation, the Durban incubator has already exceeded their contracted targets.​​​​​​

​​Cape Craft Design Institute

The Cape Craft Design Institute (CCDI) is a sector development agency in the Western Cape, mandated to support the development and sustainability of the crafts sector in the province. CCDI tailors support to companies based on a consultation process, in which companies are asked to elaborate on their needs and priorities. CCDI then suggests courses from three groups of support:

Strengthening the business, for example, training on pricing, financial management and sales techniques.
Facilitating market access, for example, match-making with buyers and publishing catalogues.
Product support, which involves testing different production processes with support from trainers and mentors.
Prior to Jobs Fund funding, CCDI was not involved in providing financial support to beneficiaries and this need was not apparent in its target market. However, CCDI believes that there are instances where financial​ ​
​​support cou​ld take a relatively healthy small business and propel it into the next stage of growth. For the Jobs Fund-funded project, the CCDI approached 28 companies already receiving support and analysed:

Five to six areas where finance was required to fund a specific intervention; and,
The number of jobs expected to be created as a result of this support. The beneficiary companies also pledged their own matched funding contribution towards the cost of support.

​​Jobs Fund Grant:   R11.6 million
​​Matched Funding:  R2.9 million
Although it have not yet reached the end of its implementation, the CCDI has already exceeded its inception to date target by 24%.​​​​​​​​​​