South African Youth Benefit From ZAR 70 Mn Worth Of Grants
A major challenge facing young entrepreneurs is the lack of access to finances which they need to ensure their businesses remain up and running.
To be able to assist enterprising young entrepreneurs who are mostly denied bank loans due to the lack of credit history, the KwaZulu-Natal government has awarded some youth with grants worth ZAR 70 Mn.
The KZN Youth Business Development Fund was launched in January this year to give the youth the much-needed financial support to grow their businesses.
The funds were given to those chosen for the KZN Youth Business Development Fund following a “lengthy, rigorous process of examining business proposals.”
Provincial Premier Sihle Zikalala speaking on Thursday said, “The total number applications that were received and processed was 2,246. Of these, 448 were shortlisted for due diligence, and 55 were ultimately awarded grants totalling R71,401,486.14. This means that we have exceeded our limit by near one and a half million rand.”
Notably, those who failed to qualify for the funds yet they showed potential will be placed in a business development program and from there they will receive guidance, this is according to the provincial premier.
“As government, we are encouraged to see the youth of KZN making strides to own their own businesses, and we encourage those who did not make it and many more others to apply for the second phase of the funding, which as was announced in the State of the Province Address, and which has also been capitalised to R70 million by our government,” he said.
The KZN Youth Business Development Fund is meant for youth-owned businesses which must be 80 per cent owned by young people (18-35 years).
Despite forming the majority of the population in South Africa, the youth have economically remained one of the most excluded groups.
Featured Image Courtesy: Reuters