Small businesses in townships and rural areas urged to apply for support

Image: 123RF/sunshineseeds.

The Minister of Small Business Development, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, has encouraged small businesses in townships and rural areas to apply for support through the Township and Rural Entrepreneurship Programme (TREP).

“We are deliberate in addressing unemployment and poverty, but we also have a responsibility to grow the economy,” Minister Ndabeni Abrahams said.

Addressing the SheTradesZA Youth Seminar held recently in Pretoria, the minister said the maximum value of TREP stands at R1 million, with one component being a grant and the other a loan. 

Township or rural-based entrepreneurs can apply for support, including funding, through the common application template from the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA), the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).

The Owners of the business must be South African nationals.

The following schemes are available for qualifying entrepreneurs:

  • Small-scale bakeries and confectioneries support programme
  • Autobody repairs and mechanics support programme (as well as small and independent autospares shops and informal automotive entrepreneurs)
  • Butcheries support programme
  • Clothing, leather and textiles support programme
  • Personal care support programme
  • Spaza-shop support programme
  • Tshisanyama and cooked food support programme

Registration can be done on and complete the information required.

In an effort to ensure the funding processes for small business is seamless and user-friendly, government is working toward merging entities for small businesses to form one agency.

“We are currently in the process of merging SEFA and SEDA as well as the Co-operative Banks Development Agency.”

SheTrades programme

Ndabeni-Abrahams said through various initiatives, government has assisted the small business sector to grow and create much-needed employment.

“The Department of Small Business Development and SEDA formed a partnership with the International Trade Centre (ITC), to bring the SheTrades programme to South Africa, and create a SheTradesZA hub.

“The programme aims to empower women-owned enterprises to trade locally, regionally and internationally. The hub supports strengthening the business skills and competitiveness of at least 10 000 South African female entrepreneurs over a four-year period,” the minister said.

Nearly 3 000 South African female entrepreneurs are already registered on the SheTradesZA Hub and receive free e-learning and capacity building.

The SheTradesZA Hub will also improve access to investment for women-owned enterprises and promote business opportunities.

“The department and SEDA’s involvement in the SheTradesZA Hub demonstrates our commitment to developing and ensuring economic empowerment of women in South Africa,” Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams said. –

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