NPMN Innovation Fund – Virtual Briefing for potential applicants

Submission deadline: 25th November 2021 I Document attachments can be found at the end of the article. 

The Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI) is a multi-sector action programme directed at addressing SA’s chronic youth unemployment challenge. PYEI has identified several priority interventions to accelerate youth pathways into the economy over the next 5 years. These components include:

  • Establishment of a National Pathway Management Network (NPMN).
  • Delivery of agile workforce development
  • Support for youth self-employment and enterprise in the township and rural economy
  • Strengthening of workplace experience
  • Revitalised National Youth Service Programme

The Presidency is the coordinating Department for PYEI, and the Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) has oversight over the program with regards to the ffg:

  • Responsibility for the establishment and operationalization of the NPMN
  • Incorporating the NPMN into its 5-year strategic plan and annual performance plan
  • Reporting to the relevant authorities and funder on the outcomes achieved and utilization of funding allocated to the NPMN

NPMN is a “network of networks” aimed at facilitating the successful transition of young people into and through the labour market. It is also considered as “the spine” from the priority interventions listed above.

NPMN Objectives:

  • Building partnerships between Govt. Departments, NGO’s and Private sector
  • Ensuring that young people are visible across the various networks
  • Have access to and sharing of appropriate opportunities across networks
  • Providing young people with the necessary support

NPMN Core Dimensions:

  • Demand activation – increase the opportunities available for youth
  • An inclusive linkage between demand and supply, on a platform that appropriately matches and pathways young people to opportunities
  • Enable unemployed youth to view and access opportunities in the economy as well as the range of services that are available.

Presidential Youth Employment Fund (PYEF) is a ring-fenced fund to exclusively finance the priority interventions under PYEI and appointed as Fund Manager is the Jobs Fund.

NPMN Innovation Fund objectives is to support initiatives aimed at addressing youth unemployment under the PYEI. 3 key focus areas are:

  • to activate demand, supply and enablement of youth. (opportunities for employment, learning and self-employment)
  • Include piloting and the up scaling of initiatives
  • Challenge fund principals to be applied, which means most competitive applications will be selected
  • NB: Limited fund of R70M fund pool – Total fund allocated from now till the 31st March 2022. BEE will also hold ranking for this initiative

PYEF invites proposals from public, private and non-profit entities that can participate in the National Pathway Management Network via the Innovation Fund.

  • Oct – Nov 2021 = Launch round
  • Nov 2021 – Feb 2022 = Appraisal Process
  • Feb – Mar 2022 = Contracting and Advance Payments
  • Feb – Oct 2022 = On-going payments, implementation and monitoring, reporting.
  • Nov – Dec 2022 = Close-Out and Evaluation

NB: Do not underestimate the time it takes to process application.

Eligibility Criteria and Prerequisites:

  • Open to Public, Private and Non-State sector
  • Non-profit org. must be registered with Dept. of Social Services, For-profit org. Must registered with Dept. of Employment and Labour
  • Must have financials and technical experience in the area of interest of more than 3 years
  • Fully tax compliant
  • Must be fully compliant in participation and adhere to core principals of NPMN. I.e. Share information. Including IP
  • Actively support the entry and retention of youth
  • Interventions must not relate to work or initiatives already being undertaken
  • Articulate sustainable up scaling
  • Well established monitoring and evaluation protocol

Funding Criteria:

  • Min grant request per applicant is R3M, Maximum is R15m
  • Minimum cash matched funding (donar fund, own funds, loas)
  • Funding categories: administrative costs, salaries/ wages, stipends, consultation and service provider fees, cost to monitor and evaluate, equipment directly related
  • Funding will not be used for: Research and infrastructure (fixed property i.e vehicles)
  • Because funds are limited, it will be highly competitive. Publications have to be  forward thinking, sustainable, “thinking out of the box”, pioneering

Impact criteria:

  • Alignment with vision/ purpose/ principles of NPMN
  • Scale in terms of expansion.
  • Innovation
  • Capacity to implement
  • Sustainability


A grant agreements are available on application website, a checklist is also available on the site. Once application has been entered, a computer-generated reference number will be issued to the applicant. After approval, applicants will be notified.

10 sections for this application form. Deadline is 15H00 of 25th November.

The initiative is not just for a financial assistance, it’s about knowledge, skills sharing of information so that it may be used to enhance and assist others invested in the initiative. (Intellectual Property at risk).

Fund Matching is a crucial role. Donor Funds/ Own funds, loan funds and needs to be in place when submitting the application. Partnerships share risks appropriately. A ring-fence bank account will be required as it will be the central point for all transactions.

Important attachments:

NPMN Innovation Fund Term Sheet

NPMN Innovation Fund FAQ’s

NPMN Innovation Fund Online Application User Guide Final