APPLY TO THE FUND - Funding criteria

The Innovation round application process closed on 1 February 2016

Please find the termsheet for the Innovation funding round (3.24mb)

Information Session Presentation 2015 (1mb)


Innovation is essential to enhancing competitiveness and growing the economy. The NDP in particular acknowledges the role that science and technology plays in growing the economy, tackling poverty; and driving improved standards of living.

Innovation can entail “the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations”.

Innovation is often misconstrued to only mean “invention”, however the spectrum of innovation is far broader than simply the development of breakthrough products or services.

Successful innovation requires that the idea is taken through to an existing market or has the capacity to create new markets in a sustainable manner.

From a developmental perspective innovation needs to further demonstrate a positive economic and social impact. The development of innovative products processes or services often require substantial investment of capital, and are therefore considered to be risky. Traditional funding sources are therefore limited, and many innovations fail to make it to market as the innovators struggle to access financial support to fully develop their ideas. The Jobs Fund aims to be a driver of innovative approaches to job creation, and is dedicated to funding new, scalable and market driven models of job creation that have the potential to trigger systemic change in the South African labour market.

The Jobs Fund is not, therefore, focused on innovation “for innovation’s sake”, and instead requires that innovations are backed by clear evidence that there is potential market demand for what is being proposed.

How do we define Innovation?

The Jobs Fund subscribes to the definition of innovation as a new product, process or commercially viable business model that either unlocks long term job creation, or overcomes barriers to job creation. The product or process does not have to be new in absolute terms, but must at least be new to a given society. This definition includes developments of adaptations of existing products, processes and business models for use in new applications or contexts. To be called an innovation, an idea must be replicable at an economical cost and must satisfy a specific need. In summary, innovation is creating new value or capturing value in a new way which consequently leads to job creation.

How do you qualify for funding?
Applicants must:

  • Have a track record of more than 3 years of experience in the industry/sector that the project falls under.
  • Must be able to provide or raise the required matched funding.
  • Provide evidence that the lead applicant has been actively trading/operating for the past two years.

Projects must demonstrate either:
  • An innovative product/service that unlocks job creation and/or reduces the barriers to job creation
  • An innovative business model
  • An innovative funding model
Doing business with the Jobs Fund
  • Two stage application process (Concept Note and full Business Case Appraisal) to assess eligibility and proposed impact of the projects
  • Due diligence is conducted to verify validity of proposals, targets and partner details
  • Partner administration systems must support good governance and robust monitoring and evaluation must be built into project design.
  • FICA compliance is essential
For information on the application process, please visit The 6th Call for Proposals – Job Creation through Innovation Opens 16 November 2015 and closes at 15:00 on 1 February 2016.

Contact details
Tel: 012 406 9166

Alternative funding sources:

At present, there is a variety of Funding instruments available at National and Provincial levels which promote economic growth and facilitate job creation. The Jobs Fund, on behalf of the National Treasury, identified the need to develop a consolidated database containing the details of these Funds as an enabling tool to refer interested parties to the correct Funding source.

Development Agencies & DFIs (208kb)
National Government Departments (262kb)
Provincial Government Departments (216kb)
SETA (277kb)
Alternate Job Creation Funding Organisations (508kb)