ECDC’s small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMME) are key to enhanced economic growth and development for South Africa.

ECDC’s interventions are geared towards providing support, resources, investment and capital opportunities to SMMEs - the result - maximum development impact.



Criteria for finance

  • A business with headquarters in the province, or can prove the major developmental impact will be felt in the province, will be considered for finance.

  • ECDC also understands the historical lack of access of small to medium enterprises to finance.

  • The Corporation uses adequate management capacity and business viability as key criteria, operating under different collateral policies to South African banks.

  • Should 100% collateral be unavailable, a loan may still be granted. It will be attached as security and any available collateral (albeit less than 100% of the loan value) will be attached as security to the extent that ECDC deems necessary.

  • Despite our policy that 100% collateral is not required as a prerequisite for loan finance, it is expected a significant contribution is made by the applicant that demonstrates their total commitment to the idea
  • Through ECDC’s short-term and long-term product offering, the Corporation has set itself apart as the financial service provider of choice for initiatives that bring a meaningful development impact to the Eastern Cape economy.

  • ECDC facilitates financial viability and sustainability of these initiatives through the provision of financial resources at highly competitive rates.


ECDC products

Name of loan





Cash management fee


R500,00 to R20 million

5 to 7 years

From prime – 2% to Prime +3%

1 to 2% structuring fee

Not applicable

Nexus trade

R10,000 to R500,000

1 to 6 months


2.5 to 5% of the loan value

Not applicable

Workflow contractor

R100,000 to R20 million

3 to 36 months

From prime -2 to prime +3%

Structuring fees of 1% of the loan value

2,5% of loan value


R20,000 to R500,000

12 to 36 months

Linked to the prime interested rate

Structuring fees apply

Not applicable


Customer aftercare

The account manager will conduct a preliminary interview with you to capture your details and the reason for making the application before forwarding you an application form.


What we require from your proposal

Finance applications that facilitate job creation and/or retention, economic empowerment, value addition to the economy, rural/ township development, and increased export income are the most suited to ECDC's business finance products.

Any project that is a new greenfield initiative, from which expansion and rehabilitation will result, will also be eligible for application for ECDC finance.


What we will not finance

  1. offensive to the community
  2. purchasing of shares unrelated to meaningful development in the Eastern Cape
  3. a loan to acquire property which will be receiving its income from lease rentals only; loan proceeds will be used for the acquisition of that property only
  4. an idea that requires a period longer than the recommended viability period
  5. does not create or save jobs directly, is speculative and made by an ECDC service provider.


Active involvement in business required

You will need to be actively involved in the underlying business enterprise. This will take the form of full time participation in the activities of the business by all or some of the applicants at any given point in time.


Clean credit record

An applicant can only be considered for loan finance if they have a clean credit record, or provide ECDC with written proof of arrangements made to clear any bad debt attributable to them.


What happens if your request for finance is approved?

Once the suitability of your application has been approved, the process will start to determine the terms and conditions of the application.

The suitability of the application does not guarantee that it will be successful.

The contract will be considered binding once it is signed by ECDC and the applicant concerned.


ECDC’s service philosophy

ECDC offers an aftercare philosophy that aims to provide efficient client service for the entire duration of the contract term.

This means monthly account management and quarterly report-back visits to ascertain the health of your business.

In the event that the account manager raises a concern about the viability of your business and your ability to sustain repayments on your loan, we will provide business support to assist as far as possible to turn your operation around favourably.


Quicker settlement plans encouraged

As an entity concerned with sustainable development, ECDC welcomes the situation where its clients are able to settle the loan amount before the end of the contract term.

If you do run into financial difficulty during the contract term, a maximum six months moratorium from final drawdown is allowed on all new development investments, and this is only considered in the event that the cash flow of the promoter indicates that such a moratorium is required.


What if your loan account falls into arrears?

In the event that your loan account defaults on monthly repayments, so that the contract is more than three months in arrears, a full investigation as to why this is the case will be set in motion.

The account will be charged a 1% investigation fee, and in compliance with the National Credit Act, the relevant credit bodies will be informed of the default.




ECDC offers you skills support

ECDC requires that clients display some expertise in the area of the proposed business idea, either on a technical or business level.

However, should you not have the required skill level to drive the proposal forward, you may undergo the necessary training courses to improve your skills, or to be given an appropriate mentor within ECDC.

The programme is committed to providing you with knowledge and expertise in business development delivered by using sophisticated solutions and best practice.

The programme aims to assist emerging businesses access business development services through a network of accredited service providers.

We invite you to enlist for one of our broad range of services, specially catered for your business's needs, and notice improvements in the quality of your product and service offering.


Quality services at your disposal

ECDC helps your business perform to its potential by providing:

  • A range of non-financial services which are sector-specific and demand-led
  • Business linkages and networks that strengthen the SME sector.


Our target sectors

The programme provides development and support to all businesses with a focus on:

  • arts and culture
  • Emerging contractors in the construction industry
  • Service providers who assist with skills development.

Applying for success

If your business meets these requirements, the next step is to apply for this service by following these five steps:

  • Your business needs to register with the programme by completing a SME data input form, which is available from all ECDC offices. Individuals and companies seeking assistance need to comply with regulatory frameworks in the country.
    • The programme will assist with compliance, where necessary
  • Requests for Development Services support should be submitted in writing at any ECDC offices
  • Due to the broad range of requests for assistance, the programme will request supporting documentation
  • This will be followed by a complete diagnosis of the business which aims to identify areas that need attention as well as areas of success that need focus; and
  • The programme will then identify and contract business service providers to assist.

The start-up business

If the programme decides to engage with your start-up business, it will consider whether your business is feasible. It assists entrepreneurs in developing start-up business plans and by facilitating access to services and resources so that the SME can execute the plan and project manage the process of establishing the business.

The emerging business

In the case of an emerging business, the programme will diagnose and identify what makes your business profitable.

Based on this evaluation, the programme will, with the owner of the business, develop and agree on an action plan, facilitate access to services and resources needed to carry out the growth plan and project manage the work plans.


The expanding business

If the programme is approached to help an expanding business, it will explore with the business owner different growth strategies which may include the need for new technology, access to finance or reaching markets in other areas.


The underperforming business

If your business underperforms, the programme will identify the causes of the lack of performance.


Cost drivers

This programme outsources SME support to service providers and may subsidise the service provider's services, according to a set formula that is guided by:

  • Value of the service
  • Turnover of the SME
  • Structure of the company
  • Number of times ECDC has assisted the SME
  • Financial profile of the SME.

Our collaborative approach

The programme collaborates with and acts as an intermediary for other government institutions that are active in SME development. These include:

The unit also has co-operation agreements with:


Financial support

Share call 0860 ECDC FIN


Business support

Telephone +27(0) 43 704 5680