Risk Capital Fund

what we offer​

​The Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), is a juristic person duly established under Section 2 of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation Act 1997 (Act 2 of 1997) to plan, finance, co-ordinate, market, promote and implement the development of the province and all its people in the fields of industry, commerce, agriculture, transport and finance. ECDC has established a Risk Capital Fund (RCF) with the objective of promoting the development of innovative businesses ideas/concepts that support the growth of the Eastern Cape economy, contribute towards the creation of sustainable jobs as well as contribute towards the competitiveness of the province.

Objectives of the Risk Capital Fund (RCF)

The main objective the RCF is to provide business development support funding in the form of Project/Business Finance and Projects Development Finance, to enterprises/entrepreneurs across the various levels of the business cycle. Depending on the needs of the enterprise and its stage of development, the ECDC funding can be in the form of equity, loan or a blended equity – loan offering. The RCF Project/Business Finance will comprise of equity and/or loans invested over the medium to long term. The funding to be offered will assist in leveraging external funding and thereby assist in unlocking/enabling the obtainment of overall funding for the project. The funding should be applied for the purpose of de-risking the total financing required from other financial institutions. The maximum term for the loans will be five (5) years at a risk adjusted prime related interest rate. The loan provided must not exceed 20% of the funding requirements of the project/enterprise. The equity invested by ECDC will remain within the enterprise/project for a maximum of 10 years, at which point ECDC will exit the investment. The funding to be provided will be in the range of Minimum R300 000 – Maximum R3 million.

The RCF Project Development Finance (High impact projects) will be considered for the development of preliminary studies, technical and commercial plans, prior to project/business take-off (Not limited to: Feasibility studies, business plan, market testing, etc.). Project Development Finance incurred prior to the start – up phase of the venture will be converted into ECDC’s equity contribution or a loan. A well-developed, costed concept/business plan and pre-feasibility study where applicable, will be required, as well as a benchmark model of the concept in order to assess and test the viability of the concept prior to ECDC commitment of the support to be provided. The Project Development Finance will be offered in the range of R150 000 up to R1.5 million.

Project Development Finance will be considered for the following activities (not limited to):

  • Sourcing of Intellectual Property (IP) opinions and patent support

  • Certification activities including quality assurance standards (ISO)

  • Detailed primary market research

  • Built environment professional services

  • Sector and industry related research and planning

  • Technical studies

  • Prototype development/improvement

  • Production of market samples and/or testing

  • Specialist designs and models

  • Business Plan development

Qualifying Criteria: Who May Apply?

  • Strategic ventures that require seed capital prior to the Start – up phase for Project Development Support services, where the sponsors can demonstrate their efforts and commitment through actual/quasi capital invested in the venture to date.

  • Commercially viable ventures with expansion plans and Project Sponsors for start – up ventures, where these ventures require significant equity investment and/or loans

  • Strategic businesses operating, or planning to operate within the geographical boundaries of the Eastern Cape Province and within the priority/targeted sectors where more than 70% of the employees are South African citizens

  • Commercially viable ventures relocating and investing in the Eastern Cape

  • Existing strategic ventures planning to expand by mergers of existing businesses

  • Management and/or employees seeking to participate in the equity of the business and/or management buy - outs

  • Viable businesses that apply could qualify for blended finance – Equity and a loan from the Loans portfolio

  • Business owners who can provide a minimum of 10% own contribution in relation to the amount of the equity and the loan, can have their contribution based on cash or on existing assets owned to be utilized in the business. Where the contribution is in assets, a minimum of 20% of the total contribution must be in cash.

  • The business must demonstrate commercial viability and must be profitable and have access to markets (Projects for public goods or social services are excluded)

  • Businesses that are registered and tax compliant or in good standing with SARS.


A description of the strategic impact of future expansion and investment plans on other businesses, industries, initiatives, job creation (outside your organisation) and infrastructure is also required from the applicant. This is intended to show future impact and alignment to critically identified industrial sectors prioritised by the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy (PGDS).


This should typically include the following:

  • Venture viability and its ability to attract equity and loan from investors

  • Opening up of new markets and new entrants into the Eastern Cape economy.

  • Potential of creating and/or leveraging indirect jobs.

  • Additional imports and exports through the East London harbour and therefore enhancing the chances of the port being expanded.

  • Investment into one of the EC IDZs.

  • Spatial orientation / location of your expansion / investment.

  • Skills development

  • BEEE Participation (where applicable


The application process (Assessment and Evaluation)

All applications for the RCF will be submitted to designated ECDC regional officials for processing, vetting, assessment and screening. Applications that pass the screening stage will be packaged into investment proposals to be tabled at the Risk Capital Project Committee (Evaluation Committee). Once this Evaluation Committee recommends the submission for approval, it is submitted to the Credit Risk and Investment Committee for final recommendation to the Senior Manager: Enterprise Final for approval.


Applications should meet the following requirements for consideration. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.


  • Completed and signed application form

  • A well-developed, costed concept/business plan

  • Business registration documents

  • IDs of the business owners

  • Tax clearance or proof of good standing with SARS (where applicable)

  • Proof of address (lease agreement or title deed) – where applicable

  • Proof of preliminary studies conducted (where applicable)


The following basic criteria will be used in the pre-screening phase:

  • Commercial viability

  • Market appetite or sufficient evidence of market appetite

  • Demonstrable competitive advantage

  • Management team capability

  • Transformation and empowerment

  • Socio-economic benefits provincially and countrywide

For a full list of evaluation criteria refer to www.ecdc.co.za


Submission of Applications

Applications can be hand-delivered or submitted electronically and must be addressed as follows;

The Secretariat          

ECDC Risk Capital Fund      

ECDC House, Ocean Terrace Park Street


East London

For attention: Mr. Athenkosi Mpayipeli

E-mail: ampayipheli@ecdc.co.za

Tel: 0437045786

Contact details for regional office support:

East London/Gqeberha Regional Office(s)
Mr. Siviwe Makasi

Email: smakasi@ecdc.co.za

Tel: 043 704 5664

Mthatha Regional Office
Ms. Nomonde Manakaza

E-mail: nmanakaza@ecdc.co.za

Tel: 047 501 2235

Application forms can be downloaded form here