SEED Loans

Everything you want to know

The Loan

Seed Community provides bright, young women from vulnerable backgrounds interest free, higher education study and expenses loans.

To this date, we celebrate 96% of students completing their studies and 100% loan repayments by graduates with all graduates gaining meaningful employment.

This result presents a stark contrast to the national average of university dropouts, which is higher than 55%.

Education is not just about the economics. We know building a supportive community is key for these students to be successful at university.


Loans Repayment Rate


Completed SEED Studies

Aside from regular group get togethers we provide trainings, workshops and have a dedicated counsellor who the girls can connect with individually and in groups.

Fostering entrepreneurship amongst the SEED loan recipients is key for the girls to pay back their loans, gain valuable work experience in a business environment, and make a real contribution to the empowerment of girls in South Africa. To achieve this we created a social business called GirlZtalk.

The Process:

Interest Free Tuition Loan

Working in conjunction with local institutions, girls can apply for a SEED loan as of their second year of study. Tuition fees are paid to the institution on a semester basis.

Monthly Expenses Loan

Girls are offered an optional extra loan to cover basic expenses, such as transport and books during their school term.

Entrepreneurship + Social contribution through GirlZtalk

The team at Seed Community believes that young women need a safe space to share our voices, to have access to vital information, and to be part of a supportive community to help each another reach our full potential. We want to share our experiences, connect with girls and young women across South Africa and beyond so together we can be the change we want to see in the world. So we created GirlZtalk! Know more about the project here: Connect to the GirlZtalk mobile space here: Main site: Freebasics site:

Employment / Experience

Seed connects girls to local companies to offer valuable work experience during holidays. Income earned goes directly to the student.

Mentor Support

Girls are brought together with a SEED mentor once a month during term time. The purpose of these meetings is to create a sense of community amongst the girls and help address any challenges they might be facing. SEED mentors are voluntary professionals who have agreed to provide guidance and support for the duration of their studies.


Girls can apply for a SEED loan as of their second year of study. By the second year of study students have shown committment to their chosen field of study and have fulfilled attendance and academic requirements. SEED requires girls to fill out a detailed questionnaire, include a written piece and must provide copies of their academic records and a letter of referral. Pre-selection is followed by a personal interview, after which the final group is chosen.

Loan repayment

Those girls who are participating in the Seed School Mentoring Programme are required to begin their loan repayment 6 months after their term begins. We invite local companies to offer students work experience whilst they study, not only providing them with valuable experience but also facilitates for their loan to be repaid. We recognise that it is crucial we create a sustainable framework by which girls can manage their loan repayment. We work with communities we have a personal affiliation with and have direct contact with the girls through our mentor support. This relationship is vital for building trust between SEED and the girls and for creating effective solutions to problems students may encounter during their studies. As the loan is repaid the money will go into providing further loans to girls at the same institution. At SEED our objective is to create the opportunity for girls to take the future into their own hands and at the same time plant the seeds for somebody else’s.

Entering the Workforce

Once the students have graduated, they enter a selection process to enter the workforce, so they can reimbourse the loan completely, and the cycle is closed.

The SEED Loan Programme: for Graduates and their Families

In 2018 we have extended our loan programme to include graduates and their families.

The SEED Graduate Loan Programme is for students who would like to gain further accreditations in their chosen fields upon completion of their degree.

Each loan is tailor made to accommodate the financial capabilities of the graduate however all loans must be paid back in full within a five-year period.

The SEED Loan Programme is now open to family members of our SEED Loan graduates. We believe the strength and future of our community lies with our students. Building trust and loyalty within our community is key to its success and we believe this can be strengthened by providing similar opportunities to the families of our graduates.

Recipients of the loans will go through the same vetting process as all SEED loan Students and will be required to make an application and participate in an interview. They will need a referee and a majority vote from the Advisory Board to be able to receive the loan.

Our first graduate loan has been granted to Nonhlanhla Vilakazi for a Procuremnt Course at CIPS.

"Fostering entrepreneurship amongst the SEED loan recipients is key for the girls to pay back their loans"

"The girls gain valuable work experience in a business environment, and make a real contribution to the empowerment of girls in South Africa."


I am realising my dreams because of SEED. I am one step closer to obtaining my degree and that is just beyond. Growing closer and building relationships with the others is a milestone for me since I do not have friends at all. Being granted the opportunity to write for GirlZtalk has opened and widened my perspective in terms of being human and nothing else. It’s a humbling experience.

Neo Makgatho

current SEED loan recipient and GirlZtalk writer, GirlZtalk

When I joined the community I found more than I thought I would. I found a new family, sisters and friends. I found support and that helped me build my confidence again. It has been more than a community to me. Little did I know that it will not just end there. I am now a graduate and that family is still there growing strong and stronger. New little sisters coming along and that’s the greatest feeling, I get to be a big sister to another one. This is a place of perfect love and compassion. I will always cherish being a member in this growing community.

In a nutshell Seed is a safety space for me, where I can be myself.

Elekanyani Tshivhase

SEED loan graduate and SEED Advisory Team member, GirlZtalk

Being part of the Seed Community has been by far the greatest experience of my life. It granted me the opportunity to better my life and my family’s life by sponsoring me to get a Bachelor’s Degree. It offered me a place of belonging, a platform where I was free to express myself as woman. I met a group of phenomenal women from all walks of life that honestly spoke of their experiences. We celebrated our strengths, courage and walked the journey of bettering our lives together. It opened my eyes to a world of other women beyond what I know and that experience made me realise that there’s great power in women supporting each other. I must say that being part of this community helped me grow as a mother, a sister and a friend. I am truly grateful.

Zandile Mgaga

SEED Loan Graduate and SEED Advisory Team member, GirlZtalk

For me being part of Seed means I get to have a supporting system that will support me without judging. For me Seed is a second home, a home where I am not judged, a home where I get to be myself, surrounded by loving sisters. In Seed i have sisters whom when given the opportunity they will go through a raging storm for me.

In a nutshell Seed is a safety space for me, where I can be myself.

Njabulo Mthembu

Current SEED loan recipient , GirlZtalk

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