Youth business funding rolls out to young entrepreneurs in the Free State

Youth business funding rolls out to young entrepreneurs in the Free State

The drive to boost youth-owned business development continues, with an information roadshow taking place in Phuthaditjhaba, south east of Free State.

The roadshow will provide advice on how to access finance offered by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (sefa) and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

Late last year, the three institutions launched an initiative in Pietermarizburg to provide funding to businesses owned by entrepreneurs who are 35 or younger.

For most young South Africans, says NYDA acting chief executive Khathu Ramukumba, obtaining finance from conventional commercial lenders is a very real challenge. “Often young aspiring entrepreneurs are rendered ineligible for finance due to their financial backgrounds coupled with stringent funding criteria,” says Ramukumba.

Creating an enabling environment will help unearth the potential of youth entrepreneurship, says the IDC’s chief executive, Geoffrey Qhena. “The youth has a crucial role to play – they can make a significant contribution to grow our economy and in doing so, create jobs,” Qhena adds.

The three-way partnership between the IDC, sefa and the NYDA is a catalyst for developing viable youth entrepreneurship, says sefa chief executive Thakhani Makhuvha.

The partnership between the three agencies will facilitate access to funding by youth-owned businesses, making them active participants in the national economy and job creation.

It is a national priority, as articulated in the National Development Plan, to find ways to create jobs and build the economy in a sustainable way. Particular focus is placed on the youth, who bear the brunt of unemployment.

Interventions like the Youth Employment Accord and the National Skills Accord are efforts to provide solutions and alleviate unemployment.

The Youth Fund is just one such intervention, launched after the signing of the Youth Accord between government and its social partners in 2013.

Youth-owned businesses will have smoother access to funding and non-financial help is part of the deal, to ensure young entrepreneurs can become active participants in the economy and create jobs.

The NYDA will serve as a conduit for the screening and recommendation of young entrepreneurs to access funding offered by the IDC and sefa.

In addition to the Youth Fund, the IDC has set aside R1-billion from its Gro-E Scheme to fund medium-sized businesses owned by young entrepreneurs.

Qhena says: “It is important that the youth takes advantage of the opportunities that are created through this partnership and contribute to both the growth of our economy and job creation.”

In 2012 sefa, a 100% IDC-owned agency was set up to provide access to finance for small businesses and co-operatives seeking funding of up to R5-million.

”Through this collaboration we continuously seek to assist and to empower the youth by giving them business support and access to finance,” says sefa’s Makhuvha.

He encourages young entrepreneurs to venture into the productive sectors of the economy

The Free State event is the second of a series of roadshows through which the three agencies will promote and increase the uptake of the fund.

Ends.

For more information contact:

Mandla Mpangase
Tel: (011) 269 3282
Cell: 082 880 6074
Email: mandlam@idc.co.za

Linda Mbongwa
Tel: (011) 651 7053
Cell: 082 315 3217
Email: linda.mbongwa@nyda.gov.za

Nothemba Gqiba
Tel: (012) 748 9701
Cell: 072 625 5553
Email: nothembaG@sefa.org.za



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