IDC to support youth entrepreneurs

2017-07-06 06:01

The Industrial Development Corporation’s (IDC) Western Cape office aims to grow its footprint in the province and is targeting youth-owned businesses to help drive much-needed and inclusive economic growth in the region.

Increasingly, the competitiveness of youth-owned enterprises is becoming a priority for the corporation and through its Gro-E Youth Scheme, which has set aside R4.5 billion for youth funding.

The scheme offers competitive financing for youth-owned businesses at interest rates of up to prime minus 3%.

A minimum of R1 million, with a maximum of R50 million per project, will be approved through the Gro-E Scheme and this reduced loan pricing will be available for a period of five years.

With the alarmingly high rate of youth unemployment across the country, the IDC in the Western Cape wants to proactively unearth more youth-led businesses and see more young entrepreneurs play an active part in the economy.

Lizo Ntloko, IDC’s Western Cape regional manager, says they are on a mission to find the right partners amongst young entrepreneurs to help propel the province’s economy towards long-term sustainability and more inclusive benefit.

“For us to be able to deliver on the kind of inclusive growth that empowers youth in our province, we need to increase our efforts in partnering with young entrepreneurs. We have started on this journey but want to do more to identify investment opportunities that can be developed into bankable projects,” says Ntloko.

Domestly (Pty) Ltd is one of the youth-led and run companies that have recently been funded by the IDC. The company, which is 51.71% youth-owned, is an online app for the placement of workers in domestic and office cleaning services.

Founded by Berno Potgieter and Thatoyaona Marumo, the company connects background-checked professional cleaners with households and corporates. The focus was initially in the Western Cape, but was recently launched in Gauteng.

The young ambitious company has already created 96 jobs and with the funding received from IDC and plan on robustly marketing the app in Gauteng to increase their traction.

Partnering with the IDC comes with many advantages because unlike other financial institutions, the corporation offers pre- and post-investment business support to ensure applicants are equipped to build sustainable businesses. In a highly competitive business environment, young entrepreneurs can only benefit from the IDC’s robust business support programme. Another youth-owned company funded by the IDC in the Western Cape is Meyer von Wielligh Custom Made Furniture, which manufactures unique and custom-made furniture pieces as well as kitchen units and general cupboards and fixtures.

Owners Norman Meyer and Abrie von Wielligh’s focus is on practical furniture with a customer-centric approach ranging from ultramodern to classic.

With their personalised designs, they operate in a niche high end market where price is not a primary consideration for clients.

Meyer von Wielligh has, together with GDF Design Labs, identified opportunities within the hospitality industry, particularly the export of their products into the rest of Africa.

Call IDC on 021 421 4794 to find out more.

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