All You Need To Know About The New Youth Challenge Fund

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The Department of Small Business Development has recently launched the Youth Challenge fund.


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The Department of Small Business Development has recently launched the Youth Challenge fund. 

The program is aimed at promoting self-employment among South Africa’s youth population. It will look to support the establishment and growth of youth owned businesses while promoting digital skills. This is in the hope of stimulating economic growth and tackling the high unemployment rate in South Africa. 

Minister Stella Ndabeni Abrahams says the government is excited to provide this opportunity to youth. She explains the first phase of the program will intend to provide support to young entrepreneurs. According to the minister, the European Union has provided R300 million for the project so far. 

She said, “if you present an idea that looks promising and is fit for the market, let you be heard out and let us help you in terms of the incubation and assist you with whatever services that you need". 

Here is the Qualifying Criteria for the Youth Challenge Fund 

  • Are between the age of 18 to 35 years.
  • Registered with CIPC and be prepared to register with SARS & UIF.
  • 100% South African owned.
  • Are adequately involved in the day-to-day operation and management of the business with at least one or more of the members being full-time employees of the company, especially the majority shareholder or essential personnel/applicant.
  • Prepared to participate in Business Development Support and mentorship (pre and post).
  • Commercially viable, sustainable and feasible business idea.

The following things will make you ineligible for funding

  • Funding towards a debt owed by the applicant with another lending institution.
  • Activities that have already been funded by other government departments or parastatals.
  • Government and SOE officials are excluded.
  • Fall within the gambling, pyramid sales scheme, loan shark and operates illegal activities etc., as guided by credit policy and grant policies.
  • Have a record of fraud and corruption.
  • Where the owner/applicant is an unrehabilitated insolvent.

Click HERE to download the application form.

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