Question 1: Do you facilitate linkages with alternative funders if a project is unsuccessful?
    Yes. We have a database of funding organisations which is available on the Jobs Fund website. Based on our knowledge of their mandates and through working with them we will refer unsuccessful applicants where it fits the relevant funder’s mandate.

Question 2: By replicable and scaling are you talking about nationwide (geographic) or industry?
    A project can scale nationally, within an industry or expand into another industry. Scaling is about achieving results at an exponential rate while adding resources only at an incremental rate. It means reaching a large number of unemployed people. Operating at scale is about optimization not duplication of effort. Applications will be assessed on:

  • Allocating and optimizing resources to drive the greatest results across a sector or value chain
  • Partners being leveraged to multiply the outcomes
  • Are costs being kept low or unchanged while increasing results (economies of scale)
  • Is the core design/infrastructure of the initiative able to scale-up without significant additional investment

Question 3: In the application process do you set up opportunities for collaborations with other applicants or current projects?
    Where we believe that there could be synergies between projects we do make referrals.

Question 4: Is there a minimum or maximum job number?
    No. The competitiveness of your application is assessed against the following impact criteria: Potential for job creation; Scalability and/or rapid replicability; Additionality; Sustainability; Contribution to systemic change; Innovation; Leverage/matched funding; Value for Money; Capacity to implement. See website for the detail on each of the criteria.

Question 5: Does the track record apply to the applicant or can it be the partner?
    There are two issues to be considered. First we look for organisational/administrative capability of the Applicant. The applicant needs to have at least 2 years operational experience and provide 2 years Annual Financial Statements to evidence this fact. Secondly we look at implementation capacity. In order to assess this we require the implementing partner (which does not have to be the applicant) to have a minimum of 3 years technical experience within the industry.

Question 6: How do you determine minimum solvency?
    The formula for the ratio is:

  • Net after-tax income + Non-cash expenses
  • Short-term liabilities + Long-term liabilities

  • A higher percentage indicates an increased ability to support the liabilities of a business over the long-term. There are however many variables that can impact the ability of a company to pay over the long term and thus this ratio is used merely as a guide. Each company is evaluated on its own merit.

Question 7: Are there restrictions on how the JF funds are used?
    The Jobs Fund approach to funding is one where the Fund adopts a holistic view of the project design and the theory of change. The Fund’s preference is to fund activity directly linked to the achievement of project objectives. i.e. expenditures that are most closely associated with providing results. Overheads, administrative costs, management fees and similar will only be supported to a limited degree.

Question 8: What form of confirmation is required for potential matched funding?
    Where matched funding is to be provided by a company/project partner we require a board resolution approving this funding as well as a balance sheet of the entity which will provide evidence that the company has the capacity to provide the match funding. In the event of a loan to be provided by a finance institution we require at concept note stage at least a letter of interest together with a clear understanding of the approval process and the status of such approval. If the project should proceed to Business Case, an approved term sheet is required.

Question 9: Can we count money from other government departments or initiatives as matched funding?
    Yes. Note that the match funding must be confirmed with a resolution from that government department. You need to clarify which jobs are to be accredited to each funding stream as most government departments account for jobs created with their funding. You would also need to provide evidence of your MTEF allocation. i.e. The budget line item from which your project will be supported.

Question 10: Do you weigh private sector funding above public sector funding?
    No. We look for commercial viability. Note that if the project is reliant primarily on public funds, it will not be considered as competitive as other projects.

Question 11: Do you have a cost-per-job benchmark or minimum rand value per job?
    TNo. The cost per job is influenced by many factors e.g. sector, job level etc. All of these issues are considered when assessing the competitiveness of the application. The Fund applies a value for money framework that is premised on economy, efficiency, effectiveness & equity in the application of grant funding.

Question 12: At which point do we need to have the matched funding?
    We expect at least a very strong letter of interest at Concept Note stage. During the concept note assessment the Jobs Fund may request a meeting with the funder in order to gain an understanding of the likelihood of such funding being in place. If the project proceeds to Business case application the applicant will be required to submit an approved term sheet BEFORE the project will be submitted for final approval.

Question 13: What are the penalties for non-performance?
    If the project performs below its own targets the Jobs Fund will not advance any further funds until such time as a remedial plan is submitted and approved or the non-performance gaps are addressed.

Question 14: How long is the whole application process?
    We have a two stage application process. On average, within 4 weeks you will know whether your application is eligible. Approximately 3 months later you will know whether your concept note was deemed successful for further consideration. The applicant is then provided with up to 6 weeks to prepare a business case application. From there it is another --- weeks to final allocation of funds. The first approvals are scheduled for mid-November 2017, which is 8 months after closing date.

Question 15: Do you count indirect jobs?
    No. Indirect Jobs by nature is complex and costly to determine and evidence.

Question 16: Is in-kind contribution considered matched funding?
    No, however it can be included but will not be considered as part of the minimum ratio of 1:1

Question 17: Do you consider sunk costs as matched funding?
    No, only future new cash flow can be included as part of the minimum of1:1. Projects are encouraged to include these in the narrative as it gives perspective on the investment made to date and the project partners’ commitment to the project.

Question 18: Do you link unsuccessful projects with other funding instruments?
    Where we can we will advise the applicant of potential other funding sources.

Question 19: What do you mean by intermediary?
    An organisation that has specialist knowledge of an economic sector; value chain/industry/region; that has the ability to link key stakeholders who are able to, in a systemic way work together to address barriers to job creation in that economic sector value chain/industry/region. This collaboration then contributes system wide impact and the delivery of sustainable jobs at scale. i.e. the systemic changes influence and benefit a large number of people who were not directly involved in the original intervention.

Question 20: If you are a government department and have your own reporting systems do you still need to report through the JF system?

Question 21: Are any sectors excluded?
    No. Each eligible project will be evaluated on its impact as per the Jobs Fund criteria.

Question 22: When you say “sustainable jobs” are you talking about the person occupying the position or the position itself?
    The position needs to be sustainable. It must endure beyond the period of the grant funding.

Question 23: Does the matched funding ratio differ for non-profit and government departments?

Question 24: How do you prove something is scalable and replicable?
    The Jobs Fund distinguishes between growth and scale where growth means you’re adding resources at the same rate that you are increasing revenue, while scaling is about achieving results at an exponential rate while adding resources at an incremental rate.

    In the assessment of the applications the Jobs Fund will consider the following:
  • Value for money – this will be assessed on four dimensions: Economy (acquisition of project inputs at the lowest possible cost). Efficiency (the production of maximum output for any given set of inputs e.g. number of jobs / resilient enterprises). Effectiveness (the achievement of desired outcomes and impact). Equity (e.g. smallholder farmers/SME’s are integrated into the existing value chains).

Question 25: Can current Jobs Fund supported projects apply and are they in a better position?
    Yes. However note that applications are competitively assessed against all other eligible project in a particular funding round.

Question 26: If the project is capital intensive can you get a big chunk of the money at the beginning of the project?
    No. The Jobs Fund preference is for labour intensive projects. Also note grant funds are allocated quarterly on a 1:1 matched funding basis.

Question 27: Do we need to put all the matched funding in the bank account?
    Applicants need to submit a quarterly budget for the duration of the project. Funding (including match funding) is advanced quarterly in advance. Only the next quarters match funding needs to be paid into the bank account at the beginning of each quarter.

Question 28: If a person leaves and you employ someone else does that count as two jobs?
    No. The position created.

Question 29: Can funding from other public entities like the National Empowerment Fund be used as matched funding?
    Yes. Full disclosure must be made of all other funding sources; however a disproportionate amount of public funding within a project will deem your project to be less competitive.

Question 30: Please advise whether apprenticeships would suffice as the employment requirement of the application?
    Apprenticeships cannot be counted as a job (i.e. under Jobs Fund Programme indicators 1, 2, 3 or 4), but can be counted under indicator 5 (successful completion of an internship).

  • As an apprenticeship is a necessary practical prerequisite for obtaining a qualification, this agreement should last until the beneficiary has successfully completed that qualification. Once the apprentice has qualified, the company where they completed their apprenticeship may employ them in a full time permanent role. Once this internship/learnership/apprenticeship has been converted into a permanent job, the Jobs Fund will then count this as either a New permanent job (indicator 1) or a Permanent placement (indicator 2 or 3) – refer to the definitions below:
  • New Permanent jobs - A new full time job (i.e. this job did not exist before) is a job that has been created as a result of the project, for which a permanent employment contract has been signed. The new job is expected to exist beyond the grant funding period and is not directly maintained or paid for using Jobs Fund grant funds.
  • Permanent placements in full time positions beyond Project Partners - These are the participants/beneficiaries that have been employed in currently vacant positions (i.e. positions that already exist but are currently not filled) by companies/enterprises other than the project partners.
  • Permanent placements in full time positions with Project Partners - These are the participants/beneficiaries that have been employed by one of the project partners in currently vacant positions (i.e. positions that already exist but are currently not filled).
  • New short term jobs - A new job that has been created as a result of the project, which will exist for a finite period of time and does not offer a permanent contract to the beneficiary (e.g. construction work, technical assistance). The job is not expected to exist beyond the funding period and may be supported by Jobs Fund grant funds.
  • Completed time-bound internships -These are the participants/beneficiaries that have completed work experience opportunities with potential employers over a pre-determined period of time and have signed internship contracts and received completion letters with the potential employers.
  • Beneficiaries trained - This is the number of participants/beneficiaries that have successfully completed the entire training and mentorship programme as designed by the JF Partner and have received their qualification/certificates. The training and mentorship programmes are expected to be strongly linked to employment opportunities for successful beneficiaries.

Question 31: If my project has elements of all four funding windows, which window do I select?
    Base this on a pro-rata basis of your costs on the project. i.e. if 60% of your project budget is to be spent on infrastructure and 40% on Enterprise development, select Infrastructure Development

Question 32: Flow of money and disbursements (costs of M&E etc.) - how should we include this.
    You should include all project related costs including M&E for the duration of the project in the total project budget (over 3 years) We report on a quarterly basis in advance based on your budget for that quarter. With reference to the type of expenses we will cover: We try not to pay for gratuity packages and bonuses. We are a Government Institution so we apply Government guidelines. The applicants need to consider that costs will be evaluated on a case by case basis and reasonability tests will be applied. To assess reasonability we work within a range based on our portfolio.

Question 33: Budgeting (if we ramp up fast can we bring payments forward? i.e. accelerate deployment)
    If accelerated deployment goes hand in hand with accelerated job creation.

Question 34: Governance of the account
    There is a comprehensive operations manual that is made available to projects when they are approved. In brief: a project has to have a separate bank account for the project. Upon signing the contract and meeting all conditions you will pay in to the project bank account the match funding required for the quarter in advance before the Jobs Fund will advance the funding for the quarter. All agreed project transactions are to be done from this account. Reporting is done quarterly in arrears and you are required to present bank statements, evidence of expenditures and revenue for at least 80%. You will be required to achieve at least 80% of your spending and job targets in order to be advanced the next quarter’s budgeted expenditures. With regards to monitoring & evaluation our team will, on a quarterly basis evaluate the evidence you provided to support the reported achievements. Your project will need to do annual financial audits, performance audits well, mid-term reviews and close outs.

Question 35: Process and timing of quarterly disbursements (i.e. is there a nice transparent agreed process that the JF follows to disburse. This will give the banks comfort that their money is not sitting in an account waiting for the JF)
    Our disbursement process is in advance and we have pre-determined deadline dates. These are contained in our operating guidelines which are incorporated in the Grant Agreement.