IDC earmarks billions for women and youth entrepreneurs

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) will spend R23 billion on funding women and youth-owned enterprises and black industrialists over the next three years, it's been revealed

Speaking at the Black Business Council’s summit on radical economic transformation at the weekend, IDC CEO Geoffrey Qhena said that a total of R15,4 billion has already been approved for spending this year.

While creating a new group of emerging black industrialists remains at the heart of the IDC’s funding drive, Qhena said it was also shifting focus on empowering women-owned and youth enterprises.

To this end, it has earmarked R3,3 billion and R2 billion for women and youth businesses for the year.

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“To date the IDC has the largest BEE book value. Over the next three years, we will provide more than R23 billion to fund black industrialists. We will be focusing on youth, because those are the people who will be able to run the economy in the future,” Qhena was quoted saying in a Business Report article.

In July, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies announced a partnership with FNB that’s geared towards making access to funding more accessible to black industrialists.

“By committing to this agreement, we undertake to collaborate with FNB in marketing our incentive and other related programmes on its website. We will also put measures in place to evaluate applications for financial support that are referred or received through FNB,” Davies said at the time.

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“Since its establishment last year, the black industrialist programme has approved 52 projects for support, with a projected investment value of R4,5 billion, this has been co-funded with other financial institutions,” he said.

The Department of Trade & Industry is working towards a target of supporting 100 black industrialists by the end of the current financial year in March next year.