Business opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs

Image: 123RF/milkos.

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) is hard at work to open doors of opportunity for young entrepreneurs. 

According to the NYDA, its Market Linkages Programme assists young entrepreneurs by enabling them to access business opportunities that exist within their provinces, both in the public and private sector. 

“Through this intervention, it is envisaged that the participation of young people in the country's mainstream economy will be increased and the government’s objective of broadening economic empowerment among historically disadvantaged individuals will be advanced,” says the NYDA.

The Market Linkages Programme supports start-ups and existing businesses by actively engaging with potential opportunity providers and lobbying them to avail business opportunities to youth-owned businesses.

Any young person between the ages of 18 and 35, who has a registered business and is a beneficiary of the NYDA, automatically qualifies for this opportunity. However, they need to ask for their business to be linked to another business within a market similar to theirs.

The programme is a component in the economic development support services and complements other programmes, such as the grant, voucher and volunteer enterprise mentorship programmes.

The NYDA Voucher Programme provides young entrepreneurs with business development opportunities. Participants receive one-on-one business development support, between the values of R6 600 and R19 800, from an NYDA-accredited service provider.

The NYDA Grant Programme provides entrepreneurs an opportunity to access both financial and non-financial business development support to establish their survivalist businesses.

The grant finance starts from R1 000 to a maximum of R200 000 for any individual or youth co-operative, but for agriculture and technology-related projects, the maximum amount is R250 000.

The Volunteer Enterprise Mentorship Programme provides mentorship support to youth businesses.

Mentors and young entrepreneurs are assessed, qualified and matched to form an ongoing mentoring relationship aimed at improving the sustainability and growth of start-ups or existing businesses owned by young South African entrepreneurs.

For more information, contact the NYDA's switchboard: 087 158 6345 / 5738 or customer service: 087 158 4742 or email:

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