Youth today face various challenges which hinder and stifle their socio-economic development, consequent economic prosperity, and achievement of sustainable livelihoods. The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has developed the Ithubalentsha Micro Enterprise Programme to rapidly address some major limitations/constraints faced by the youth of South Africa. “Ithubalentsha” is a Zulu word that means “An Opportunity for Youth”.
The overall objective of the programme is to scale-up access of quality and sustainable enterprise development products and services by the South African youth (aged between 18 and 35 years), and particularly those in peri-urban and rural areas. Those with disabilities are also encouraged to participate.
ITHUBALENTSHA PROGRAMME STRUCTURE
The Programme has specifically been designed to address the high entry barriers to business and the high failure rate among start-up businesses through an integrated approach that has the following five key pillars:
- Identification and Technical Training of young potential entrepreneurs. Young people will be identified and assisted with suitable technical training though various learning institutions in accordance with the nature of their enterprise
- Business Management (Entrepreneurship) Training. The NYDA will facilitate this training for every young person participating in the Ithubalentsha programme
- Micro Enterprise Finance. Once capacitated, participants will be assisted with business loans ranging from R 1 000 to R 100 000
- Business Mentorship. This is aimed at transferring business management skills and knowledge to youth in business through guidance of experienced volunteer mentors. It is a compulsory requirement for every young person under the Ithubalentsha programme
- Business Opportunities and Market Linkages
It involves ongoing lobbying of potential opportunity providers in the private and public sector to avail business opportunities to young people. The opportunities vary from procurement, retail and distribution, acquisition of equity stakes etc.
To apply you must:
- Be a young South African between 18 and 35 years, who holds a South African ID and can provide a residential address
- Business may either be at a start-up, early-stage or expansion phase
- Be operationally involved in the day-to-day running of the business where hands-on management is required
- You will be required to undergo a credit check
The types of businesses that will be assisted through Ithubalentsha include but are not limited to the following:
- Car wash
- DJs/mobile disco
- Child minders
- Motor mechanics
- Computer software trainers
- Designer clothing retailers
- Domestic appliance repair services
- Furniture designers and manufacturers
- Jewellery makers
- Cleaning companies
- Small-scale recycling companies
- Tour guides etc.
CALLING ON MENTORS FOR YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS
In order to make this new programme a success, the NYDA is now calling on the assistance of volunteer mentors to mentor young, up-and-coming entrepreneurs through a formalised and structured programme.
The volunteer mentor can either be;
- An experienced entrepreneur
- Business consultant
- Middle to senior manager
- Postgraduate student
- An experienced SMME development practitioner
- Professional mentor and coach
- A retired professional
This business mentorship provides an opportunity for young entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs to benefit from the knowledge of experienced business people whom they would not normally have access to.
The mentor provides motivation, guidance and advice to help young entrepreneurs through different stages of developing their businesses. Mentors work alongside the young entrepreneur to ensure that the business has the best possible chance of sustaining and growing. Most importantly, the mentor focuses on the development of the young persons’ ability to go it alone in the future.
CALLING ON YOUNG ASPIRING AND ESTABLISHED ENTREPRENEURS TO APPLY
Young aspiring and established entrepreneurs can submit their applications for consideration. Applications should be submitted at NYDA branches across the country.