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The National Treasury’s Jobs Fund is proud to announce that it has selected Sasfin Asset Managers (‘SAM’) and RBN Fund Managers (‘RBN’) to create a blended finance investment vehicle that expands SME lending and job creation in South Africa. The Jobs Fund is a multi-year R9 billion National Treasury initiative established in 2011 to encourage innovation and support initiatives with the potential to generate sustainable employment.

Erol Zeki, CEO at Sasfin Wealth comments on the partnership, “Investing in the future of South Africa means investing in the future of its people. By creating jobs, we not only empower individuals, but we also strengthen communities and build a more sustainable economy for all. We are very excited to partner with RBN and National Treasury via the Jobs Fund to contribute to this future”.

The Jobs Fund has awarded the SAM/RBN partnership a grant of R85 million over two-years to catalyse increased access to credit for marginalised SMEs, leading to direct job creation. This will be structured as a guarantee mechanism to leverage an initial R360 million in matched funding from Sasfin Group and institutional investors. The intended outcome is to establish a credit enhanced Fund that generates a total of 1,200 permanent and 320 short-term or temporary jobs over the initial two-year period. The Head of the Jobs Fund, Najwah Allie-Edries, highlights, “SMEs continue to be important creators of new jobs in the economy, yet their growth is often thwarted by the lack of access to appropriately structured finance and technical support. A range of funding sources and products are required to address this challenge, the Jobs Fund Sasfin-RBN initiative will contribute to bridging this gap for growth-orientated SMEs.”

This initiative highlights the synergies between SAM and RBN to drive their combined impact investing strategy as partners in the impact space. Heather Jackson, CEO at RBN further adds, “RBN and Sasfin are committed to our catalytic new partnership with the Jobs Fund. We are confident that we can achieve both an economic and social return through the power of our guaranteed mechanism affording comfort for investors while at the same time, providing more capital to invest in job creating initiatives.”

Members of the RBN impact investing team have successfully implemented three previous projects with the Jobs Fund, and will project manage  the new initiative, coordinating the implementation of the project and fulfilling all reporting requirements. SAM will fulfil asset management responsibility and enhance its credit capability. Sasfin Bank as a leader in SME lending and asset backed financing, will be a critical implementation partner in deploying direct loans to job-creating SMEs.

The two-year goal is to build a successful portfolio of SME loans, which produces strong commercial returns and a high social impact through job creation. A successful pilot will produce the ability to further leverage the guarantee to attract additional institutional investors and scale this impact solution. This opportunity allows collaboration across public and private sectors and to demonstrate how a guarantee can reduce credit rationing, create jobs, and over time crowd in additional funding for Sasfin’s SME lending engine.

Additional notes:

The Jobs fund has successfully concluded ten bid windows and to date has achieved the following outcomes:  

Portfolio Progress as of 30 Sep 2022

  • R6.17 billion in grant funding disbursed to projects
  • R12.32 billion in matched funding leveraged from project partners
  • 296,909 jobs, placements & internships facilitated

To learn more about the Jobs Fund you can visit their site at http://www.jobsfund.org.za. If you want to learn more about the nature of this joint initiative please feel free to contact Heather Jackson at heather@rbn.co.za or Leon Krynauw at leonc.krynauw@sasfin.com.

About the Author

Ntombi Ntanzi
Sasfin Wealth, Content & PR Specialist

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