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Billions set aside for young entrepreneurs

Written by Samona Murugan

Youth matters

A staggering R3 billion has been pledged to the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) for stimulating the growth of young entrepreneurs over the next five years.

The commitment, which forms part of the Youth Employment Accord, will be funded by a partnership between the Department of Economic Development, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA).

The youth accord, signed by leaders representing government, labour, business and youth formations recently, aims to create five million new jobs for unemployed youth by 2020.

“This partnership will go a long way in facilitating the growth and development of young entrepreneurs in South Africa,” said NYDA Executive Chairperson, Yershen Pillay.

Announced at the recent budget vote of the Department of Economic Development, the project is a concrete expression of government’s call to action on job creation for young people.

Aside from the funding received, the NYDA will also work closely with the IDC and SEFA to create business development support and mentorship services for the youngsters who benefit from the fund.

Youth who apply for assistance will be screened by the NYDA and ideal candidates will be recommended to the IEC and SEFA to be granted a loan.

“The NYDA may be able to improve chances of success for any young entrepreneur who receives a loan from either the IDC or SEFA by offering business development support and mentorship services. Such an arrangement would certainly be a good example of an integrated and holistic response by government to the youth unemployment crisis,” said Pillay.

Pillay added that the project partnership is another example that job creation is not the sole responsibility of the NYDA but instead should be a collective effort by all state entities, the private sector and civil society.

For more information,contact the NYDA on 0800 52 52 52 or visit your nearest NYDA branch.