Isivande Women's Fund (IWF)


Isivande Women’s Fund (IWF) is an exclusive fund that aims to accelerate women’s economic empowerment by providing more affordable, usable and responsive finance than is currently available. The IWF targets formally registered, 60% women-owned and/or managed enterprises that have been in existence and operating for two or more years with a loan range of R30 000 to R2 million.


To improve the lives of Women in business and Women led households in South Africa and the eradication of poverty.


To become a leading catalyst for improving and expanding access to finance to women entrepreneurs directly by lending and investing in women enterprises with limited access and generating income which will improve their living standards.

Other Objectives

  • To bring in a new category of entrepreneurs presently constrained by limited access to finance
  • To broaden access through new funding, flexible instruments and leverage with selected partners thus providing women the tools with which to share in the growing SA economy
  • To introduce flexibility in its service delivery and accommodate the special circumstances of women owned and run enterprises both as regards funding range and type of facility offered
  • To facilitate linkages with selected partner financial institutions operating in predominantly black women-for owned Micro and SME markets, including DFIs and financial services organisations as a value proposition for expanding access and convenience
  • To measure its success by number of women entrepreneurs it supports to improve households income and wealth over time.

Target Customer

The main client is a formally registered, 60% women owned and/or managed enterprise that have been in existence for two or more years.

The Fund will specifically target:

  • Black women at the bottom of the economic ladder
  • High potential survivalists, micro enterprises and co-operatives on a case by case basis
  • Professionals (skilled women with feasible business ideas)
  • Entrepreneurs (women currently running their own enterprises)

It pursues deals involving:

  • Start-up funding
  • Business expansions
  • Business rehabilitations and turnarounds
  • Franchises
  • Bridging finance

Service Offerings

The fund will specialise in debt financing. Loans will range from R30 000 to R2 million per transaction. Exceptions will be considered by the Investment Committee and subject to approval by the Executive Management. The loan repayment period will be a maximum of five years. Eligibility conditions for loans will include the following:

  • The SME or Co-operative must be 60% women-owned/controlled.
  • The business must have at least a 2 year track record of business activity and a sustainable business plan
  • The staff profile must be at least 60% Women and 75% Black (including people living with disability)
  • The business must be in a rural or peri-urban area
  • IWF will limit loans to 60% in peri-urban and 40% in rural areas in year one (to be reviewed thereafter) and 30% towards start-ups
  • IWF will identify and package business support services to its funding at pre and post intervention stages to enhance the chances of success of the business
  • The Old Mutual Masisizane Fund will co-fund each loan on a rand-for-rand basis and also provide free financial education to IWF's clients


Business Plan Guidelines and Information checklist


Source: Department of Trade and Industry


Contact Details:

  • Department of Trade and Industry
    Wisani Khosa
    Tel: 012 394 1606
    Fax: 021 394 2646


  • Industrial Development Corporation (IDC)
    Billy Cobbinah
    Tel: 011 269 3663
    Fax: 086 210 3663
Provided by:
Government Body: (The Government of South Africa)
The content on this page was last updated on 30 July 2015