Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) has funded 1200 youth enterprises for a total of P600 million to date, says Chief Executive Officer, Thabo Thamane.
Briefing the media on Tuesday, Thamane said out of the money disbursed, P326 million has funded Agribusiness projects, P187 million funded services projects while only P71 million funded property and manufacturing projects.
He said over the years the agency has promoted entrepreneurship, job creation and youth empowerment through provision of funding, business advisory as well as training and mentoring services for new entrepreneurs.
“We strongly believe that young people are not only key drivers of future prosperity but also vital untapped human resource,” said Thamane explaining further that since 2014, CEDA has provided training to 277 young entrepreneurs, out of which 188 were trained on procurement and business management, while 77 were trained on piggery production.
Thamane said the agency is concerned with project mismanagement especially the youth projects under Young Farmers’ Fund. He said about 20 percent of youth have abandoned their projects. “When we visit these projects we always realise that the parents have now taken over the projects and the youth are no longer involved in them. This might be an indication that parents use the youth to access funding, but we are dealing with the problem,” he said.
He said through its new Mabogo-Dinku product the agency has disbursed P4.5 million creating over 5000 jobs, mostly for women. The product offers loans to individuals who belong to self-help groups that support them in saving and loan repayment accountability and through surety at application stage.
The loans range from P500 to P150 000 per person and are payable in a period of three to 12 months with repayment frequency ranging from weekly. CEDA has reserved P20 million for the product during 2017/18 financial year.
Thamane also highlighted that the agency has been able to generate income to support its operations. The agency receives government subvention each year to fund businesses. It also generates income in the form of interest and collection on loans already financed to augment government subvention.
“Government has given CEDA grants amounting to P934.7 million over the last three years and the agency disbursed P1.19 billion in the same period,” said Thamane. CEDA has achieved a collection rate of 105 percent in the last financial year ending March 2017. The set target for collection was P330 million and the actual collection amounted to P346 million.