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Eastern Cape youth entrepreneurs take up their share of the Industrial Development Corporation’s R4.5 billion in youth funding. The IDC is tapping into the economic potential of youth-owned businesses in the Eastern Cape.

Increasing the competitiveness of youth-owned enterprises is becoming a priority for the corporation and partly achieving this through its competitively priced 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%. Black-owned youth empowered enterprises such as Kenako Concrete, Goapele Property Company and Nodela Trading and Projects are just some of the companies that have partnered with the IDC and benefited from this scheme.

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

Heading the call of youth taking on entrepreneurship is Port Elizabeth based company NutriTech. Founded in 2011 by Jaco Serfontein, NutriTech manufactures sports nutrition products for professional athletes and anyone with an active lifestyle.

Their growing product range is testament to their manufacturing prowess and includes protein powder, breakfast cereal and food products as well as fat burners.

“The support of the IDC has helped us to not only grow our product offering and expand our manufacturing capacity – its allowed us to almost double our employee numbers and focus our attention on breaking into new global markets which are highly competitive in this industry,” says Jaco Serfontein, Managing Director of NutriTech.

With a strong automotive sector and a highly competitive environment for advanced manufacturing in the Eastern Cape, the IDC through the regional office, is injecting millions into growing young entrepreneurs.

“We are committed to supporting entrepreneurs, particularly the youth, who want to contribute to the development of key sectors in the economy and create much needed jobs, especially for other young people,” Kingsley Dell-Robertson, the IDC’s regional manager in the Eastern Cape.

Unlike other financial institutions, the IDC offers pre- and post-investment business support to ensure applicants are equipped to build sustainable businesses.

NutriTech used the funding it received from the IDC to optimise manufacturing processes and increase its working capital. The business support provided by the IDC also helped address some of the business challenges they faced and enabled them to put a training programme in place for youth in both the manufacturing and administrative fields of their industry.

 “The infrastructure in our two major cities, the three ports and large tracts of arable land in the province present great opportunities for youth-owned business in various sectors, including automotive, agro-processing, clothing and textiles and tourism. Our full potential has not yet been reached and we will continue to invest in sustainable youth-owned businesses across the province,” says Kingsley Dell-Robertson.

With offices spread across the Eastern Cape in key cities such as Port Elizabeth, Mthatha and East London, the IDC is reaching out to existing and potential youth clients.

Industrial Development Corporation

 

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