Support Available For Entrepreneurship In South Africa

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In the current economy it may seem very risky to follow your passion of starting your own business, however it may be very rewarding when the business becomes successful. Here are some initiatives that provide skills training and assistance to entrepreneurs in South Africa. 

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The South African government has encouraged its citizens to consider entrepreneurship to create jobs while the country works to overcome high unemployment rates, especially among the youth. 

The government offers support to those who are on the path to starting their own business through initiatives such as the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda), the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and/or providing tax incentives or breaks. 

Here is the support available to entrepreneurs in South Africa: 

The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) 

The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) provides support services and business development for small enterprises. Seda gives the entrepreneur all the information they may need to start a business, including how to write a business plan and once the business has been set up they give entrepreneurs information on how to grow it. 

Seda is the only government agency committed to helping small businesses start, grow and thrive. They help businesses achieve this sustainably while contributing to the economic development of the country. 

The Agency's business support services are free and have been provided to small business for over 18 years through experienced business advisors.

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) grant programme is one of the most well-known youth business funding opportunities provided by the South African government. It was established by Parliament primarily to address issues faced by the country's youth. 

The NYDA programme offers financial and non-financial support to entrepreneurs who are developing their businesses and those who have already started. 

It targets qualifying businesses run by youth, including community facilitation projects and co-operatives that show potential for growth. In addition, entrepreneurs must have the necessary skills and experience to run the business. 

The types of business which have received help from the NYDA grant programme include, but are not limited to, motor mechanics and panel beaters, electricians, plumbers, domestic appliance repair services, beauticians, hairdressers, cleaning companies, small scale recycling companies, street vendors, car washes and others. 

If your application is successful, your NYDA grant may be used for any of the following: 

  • Purchase movable and immovable assets 
  • Shop renovations
  • Bridging finance
  • Working capital paid directly to the grantee
  • Co-funding with legal entities only

Youth Enterprise Development Programme 

The Youth Enterprise Development Programme is the flagship offering for high school learners in Grade 10 and 11. Learners form companies and go through the whole process of setting up businesses and developing products or services. They learn about all the aspects of entrepreneurship, financial literacy and life skills. 

The longer version is the Premium Entrepreneurship Academy Programme, which assists 18 to 35 year-olds through the process of establishing sustainable businesses. Participants attend incubator-style classes for 6 months and then they receive support and mentorship for another 6 months. 

Other shorter entrepreneurial courses include programmes which focus on addressing environmental issues, career planning, financial literacy and work readiness. 

Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA)

JASA in-school and out-of-school youth programmes have provided financial literacy, entrepreneurship and workplace readiness training for more than 38 years. This programme has reached around 7 000 learners and young adults every year. 

Participants make use of experiential training to tackle real issues related to developing and running small businesses and the Services SETA has accredited 2 premium JASA programmes at NQF Level 4. 

Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn 

In the Western Cape, the provincial government has established the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn in collaboration with the Cape Innovation and Technology Inititiative (CiTi) to enable, support and expand the township technology ecosystem in the Province. 

The Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn is the only township-based tech hub in South Africa and offers community space that supports tech entrepreneurship, innovation and digital skills development within the communities of Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain. 

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