See Youth

How businesses can support young people

Dream big, work hard – you can make it happen

Time is flying by, and the Class of 2022 is already preparing for Prelims and Finals. For you, just like that 12 years has disappeared in the blink of an eye, and this is it, the moment you have worked for has arrived. Or has it? The last stretch of your schooling career is an exciting but also stressful time. Exciting because you’ll finally reach one of the most important milestones of your life. And stressful because the unemployment rate is alarmingly high. It is not unusual for young people in high school to be concerned about what lies ahead after they leave school.

Whatever you do, just don’t give up. If the job you are looking for isn’t presenting itself, then take the initiative and follow your dream…make it happen yourself instead of relying on an employer to make it happen for you. And remember, it is never to early to start planning making your dream a reality!

The good news is there are businesses out there that offer financial support opportunities to qualifying young people who want to start their own businesses after high school.

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) grant programme

This programme gives young entrepreneurs both financial and non-financial business development support. The aim is to help you either establish or grow your business. You can contact the NYDA for more information on 0800 52 52 52.

Lulalend Business Funding

Lulalend aims to help potential small businesses remove cash flow stress through simple and fast business loans. For more information apply online or call 087 943 2381.

Old Mutual’s Enterprise Development

Enterprise Development aims to develop small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMES) in the agriculture, manufacturing and commercial sectors. To pitch your business idea to them, you need to contact:

Simangele Lekhuleni: 011 217 1885 / 081 448 4211, or

Dianne Richards: 011 217 1896 / 072 837 5654

Gro-E Youth Scheme (GREEN)

This R950-million fund scheme aims to provide finance to smaller-scale renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and the manufacturing of green products in South Africa.

Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA)

SEFA offers development finance to SMMEs and Co-operatives that can’t get commercial credit. They focus on retail, wholesale trades, tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, mining and green industries.

IDF Capital

IDF Capital’s goal is to become a catalyst for economic growth across Africa. They aim to do this by supporting entrepreneurs during their journey to becoming financially independent. They also share their experience and knowledge of the African market.

Industrial Development Corporation Funding (IDC)

The IDC is a national development finance institution that aims to contribute to the generation of balanced, sustainable economic growth in Africa, as well as the economic empowerment of the South African population. 

National Empowerment Fund (uMnotho Fund)

This fund aims to improve access to BEE capital. It has five products: acquisition finance, project finance, expansion finance, capital markets fund, and liquidity and warehousing. The products provide capital to black-owned and managed enterprises, black entrepreneurs who are buying equity shares in established black and white-owned enterprises, starting new ventures, expanding existing businesses and BEE businesses that are or want to be listed on the JSE. For more information, call 0861 843 633.

This list of companies and funds is just the tip of the iceberg, there are many more that you could consider approaching. It is important to remember that you’ll need to apply for this financial assistance and for your application to be successful, you need to do some groundwork which includes having a solid business plan. So, stay positive, persevere and reach for the stars. Show prospective investors in your dream that you are in it for the long haul… and you are worth it!

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