Our sister entity, the Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) hosted a Youth Business Indaba, on the 14th of June 2019, at Elangeni Hotel, Durban.
The aim of this dialogue was to try and come up with ways to curb unemployment and introduce business opportunities to young people from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). This is according to the TIKZN CEO, Mr Neville Matjie, who says, “if you come with your hands folded and expect someone to do it for you, it’s not ganna [going to] happen. If you come and say this is how much I have done, that is when we can then play a role to push your project through the value chain.”
The event had two sessions, one on funding and the other, on employment. Panellist for funding session was Mr Aubrey Shabane, the CEO of KwaZulu-Natal Growth Fund (KZNGF), Mr Bonginkosi Shangase, Ithala- Business Finance Executive and Mr Siyabonga Hlengwa, director of HZ Investment, who is an example of young business ownership.
KZNGF provide funding between R25 million to R100 million. Mr Shabane says that they fund businesses that are 51% black (African owned), a business that will create jobs, and they also access if that business is viable. Ithala bank have two forms of funding, an enterprise development fund for start-up businesses for up to R10 million at a fixed interest rate of 2-7% and the second one that is up R25 million.
Mr Siyabonga Hlengwa is an example of how TIKZN can help a dedicated young businessperson kick-start their business. Mr Hlengwa identified a piece of land, devised a business model that saw him receiving funds from BP garage to buy that piece of land to start a BP garage franchise.
On the employment session, Mr Mr Thamsanqa Maqubela, the programme director of that session said, “you are not unemployed but in between blessings.” He further spoke about internship programmes that are made available to unemployed graduates. Mr Thami Zondi, director of Youth Economic Empowerment at Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA), spoke about youth employment opportunities and entrepreneurship.