KZN to give millions to youth-owned businesses

  • 59 youth-owned businesses in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) are set to benefit from funding between R200 000 to R2 million.
  • A total of R90 million will be disbursed to these businesses as part of the second phase of the Youth Empowerment Fund.
  • The fund was launched by the provincial government in order to fight against unemployment in the country.

The provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is set to give out R90 million to 59 youth-owned businesses located in the province as part of the second phase of the Youth Empowerment Fund. The funding ranges between R200 000 or up to R2 million depending on the business.

This phase comes five years after the fund was established by KZN Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube. The first phase, launched in 2021, saw R60 million handed out to 51 businesses owned by young people. The premier was at the second phases’ launch event in Durban on Tuesday, where she announced the 59 businesses that were granted the funding this year.

There she explained that 90 percent of the fund received by these companies would be for purchasing of equipment, while the remaining 10 was for working capital.

She said that 352 applications were shortlisted this year, with the final 59 selected after a “rigorous evaluation process” that included business site visits. She added that this year’s crop of beneficiaries included more women owners.

“We could not have asked for a better present to mark the close of Women’s Month, as evidenced by the fact that 42% of the approved applicants are women. This is a significant improvement, if we consider that only 15% of women applicants had benefitted previously,” enthused the premier.

“Our goal, moving forward, is to ensure at least a 50-50 access between men-owned and women-owned businesses,” she added.

Dube-Ncube explained that the fund itself was created as a way to promote new jobs, and begin curbing South Africa’s record unemployment rate, believed to be among the world’s highest. According to the latest from Stats SA, only 16.3 million working-age people in the province are employed.

The KZN provincial government also recently launched an online portal where citizens of the province can go to see what available jobs public institutions have. In June KZN began promoting its “S’thesha Waya-Waya” campaign, eyeing thousands of new jobs in the province.

[Source – SA News]

[Image – Photo by Desola Lanre-Ologun on Unsplash]


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