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Remembering June 1976: IDC commits to supporting youth entrepreneurship

In partnership with Scaw Metals, the IDC supports 60 young people in an apprenticeship programme in various scarce skills trades. In partnership with Scaw Metals, the IDC supports 60 young people in an apprenticeship programme in various scarce skills trades.

On the fortieth anniversary of the student uprising in Soweto on June 16, 1976, IDC, CEO Mvuleni Geoffrey Qhena used the occasion to explain the various initiatives the corporation has adopted in its contribution to providing business support to young entrepreneurs.

“As we commemorate the youth of yesterday,” said Qhena, “we need to be mindful of the challenges that the youth of today face. Statistics for the first quarter of 2016 show that 37.7 percent of the youth is currently unemployed. In addressing this, the IDC has introduced various initiatives to provide business support to young entrepreneurs.”

Examples of these projects include:

  • The Grow-E Youth Scheme, launched in 2013, which makes R878 million available for the 2016/17 financial year to support youth-owned businesses.
  • The Developmental Impact Support Department and Pre-Investment Business Centre have implemented the Youth Pipeline Development Programme to assist youth entrepreneurs with marketing studies, mentoring and technical assessments.
  • The IDC will launch a Youth Conference later this year to advance youth entrepreneurship and to link potential and existing young entrepreneurs to other development finance institutions and to youth organisations.
  • The IDC also supports the youth through initiatives such as Take a Girl Child to Work. Following on from this, Take a Boy Child to Work was launched in 2015, through which 40 boy scholars are mentored by our male colleagues.
  • In partnership with Scaw Metals, the IDC supports 60 young people in an apprenticeship programme in various scarce skills trades. This started in 2014 and will continue to the end of 2017.
Qhena noted that inside the IDC itself, a third of the staff are youth, with the majority (163) employed in the P-band, followed by the A-band (83).

The corporation continues to support youth development through its Internship Programme, a three-year programme which is currently giving work experience to forty graduates. Bursaries have also been given to more than 1 000 school leavers for tertiary education studies.

“I am proud of what the IDC has achieved so far in uplifting the youth,” Qhena said. “It is our knowledge, experience and expertise that sets us apart. Let us utilise it to the youth's advantage.”

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