A new R15 million SMME loan scheme has been unveiled in KwaZulu-Natal on to assist the younger people with funding for their businesses.
The Imbewu Loan Fund, made available from Ithala and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), has been started to deal with challenges concerning the shortage of the ways to access funding for a good number of businesses in KZN.
The two organizations will offer financial loans of between R50 000 and R5 million to young people aged between 18-35.
Acting MEC for Economic Development and Tourism Ina Cronje talked about how all South Africans have to transform from being a nation of job seekers to one of job creators and entrepreneurs and with the help of this fund available, a certain amount of our younger generation will be given the opportunity to take the lead.
Cronje urged up and coming businesses to identify the business opportunities offered in Kwazulu-Natal and make a contribution to the economic growth and development of of the region..
CEO of NYDA, Steven Ngobeni said the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which took place at the Hilton Hotel, is an example to other provinces in the country to follow.
“Young individuals are confronted with poverty and all sorts of various other economically-related issues. They happen to be fed up with being unemployable and as a result we need to have programmes in this country that will actually ensure that they step out of poverty and unemployment.
“These obstacles can be conquered if we as government agencies interact with each other which happens to be the key reason why Ithala and NYDA have come together with each other to steer the manner in which for other agencies in this country should operate adn move forward,” he was quoted saying.
MEC Cronje believed this is an fantastic effort and a lot more of these programmes are essential to ensure that the younger generation develop into economically active individuals and consequently have the opportunity to play a role in job creation.
“The indisputable fact that a handful of young adults are seen idling due to their unemployability is often an indicator that we all need to make sure we skill these individuals to enable them to make something of themselves. This initiative’s main objective and goal is to develop entrepreneurs and I am delighted the fact that the NYDA has taken the bull by its horns concerning issues of youth development,” Cronje said.
Siphiwe Madondo, Group Chief Executive Officer of Ithala invited all businesses and individual looking for financial assistance should contact Ithala or NYDA directly but before you do, make certain you have a concrete and clear business plan in place in order to be taken into consideration.
“All of us happen to be incredibly hands on in the business of youth business development. So far, approximately R70 million of funding, was utilized to finance youth businesses during the past year alone as a result of Ithala.
“We would you like to assist young people to be able to start their own businesses that will play a role in job creation in the country. Imbewu Loan Fund is consequently a affirmation that we want the youth to live, breathe and think entrepreneurship. This loan fund is going to focus on small businesses,” he explained.
Cronje added: “See these opportunities when they come up, be ready and willing to start small and work your way up, one step at a time. SMMEs are the backbone of economic growth and development. Avoid being greedy, work your way up legally and professionally to make sure that your good concept flies. Try to find help and assistance where necessary and make sure that you have an understanding of financial management”.