Help on hand for young entrepreneurs

Applications for the Youth Micro Enterprise Relief Fund are open

Image: 123RF/Cathy Yeulet.

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has reached out a helping hand to young entrepreneurs who have been financially affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The NYDA’s Youth Micro Enterprise Relief Fund will assist qualifying youth-owned businesses with a once-off amount, capped at R10 000 per business. The money granted is not a loan and businesses that benefit don’t have to pay it back.

According to NYDA Chairperson Sifiso Mtsweni, the fund will assist youth-owned small, medium and micro enterprises, but will have a special emphasis on micro enterprises.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted a lot of enterprises, globally and locally. Youth-owned enterprises have not been spared from this. It is therefore appropriate that the NYDA should also provide a response for youth-owned enterprises,” says Mtsweni.

Businesses hoping to benefit from the fund must: 

  • have been operating for six months before the initial lockdown;
  • have proof of operations in the form of management accounts, such as invoices and orders;
  • provide financial statements, for three months before the lockdown, and statements during the lockdown;
  • show proof of banking, not older than six months;
  • provide registration documents with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, except for informal businesses;
  • demonstrate how the business has been impacted by COVID-19;
  • be owned by youth, between the ages of 18 and 35, who are South African citizens residing in the country; and
  • be operating in South Africa.

Mtsweni says the fund, which will assist youth-owned enterprises that might not qualify for other funds, will only cover operational costs. 

“This fund will respond to challenges facing youth-owned businesses, such as the inability to pay employees, a lack of income and waiting periods for other funding mechanisms.”

Mtsweni commended government’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19 and encouraged all youth development stakeholders to cooperate to mitigate against the pandemic’s negative economic impact. 

The application process is open until 30 May 2020. For more information about the NYDA’s Youth Micro Enterprise Relief Fund visit www.nyda.gov.za.

-This article was originally published in the GCIS Vuk'uzenzele.

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