All over the African continent there are people with fresh innovative ideas that never really kick off because of the lack of funding, and the fear of failure. For the latter the principal is you just have to fail until you succeed!! Concerning the former, governments all over Africa have started realizing that they need to do something to assist the funding gap and more importantly decrease risk; with special attention being paid to the youth.
YouWin – Youth Enterprise with Innovation Nigeria
This is a programme that is rolled out as a competition annually in Nigeria. It is a result of collaboration between the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Communication Technology, Ministry of Youth Development and Ministry of Woman Affairs. Its main goal is to give confidence and support to young entrepreneurs in Nigeria to turn an innovate idea into reality. The programme provides motivated youth with a unique platform to feature skills, aspirations and business ingenuity to leaders in their chosen fields, and investors and mentors in Nigeria. Its primary objectives are to provide a onetime equity grant for 1200 carefully selected endeavoring entrepreneurs to kick off or build on their business concepts and extenuate start up risks. In addition it facilitates business training for up to 6000 aspiring youth entrepreneurs countrywide. Lastly and probably most importantly it seeks to provide these entrepreneurs with access to a wide professional network and improve their visibility.
People who have gained massively from this programme include Saeed Juma who actualized a one stop shop for dental service centre; he now intends to expand to Sub-Saharan Africa.
The fundamental mission of this programme is to boost economic contingencies for, and involvement by Kenyan youth in nation building through enterprise development and strategic partnerships. Its central objective is to bestow low interest loans to youth enterprises and to provide business development services to the said enterprises.
It has been largely successful as the newly elected President is pleased with its progress. Statistics wise it has financed over 157,000 youth enterprises to the tune of 5.9 billion, many of the initial beneficiaries are today big employers. In addition to has facilitated high intensive training for over 200,000 aspiring entrepreneurs.
SEFA – Small Enterprise Finance Agency – South Africa
New on the scene, SEFA has a bright future head of it. It was formed in 2012 as a result of the merger of South African Micro Apex Fund, Khula Enterprise Finance Ltd and the small business activities of IDC (Industrial Development Creation). Its mission is to provide an avenue for finance to micro, small and medium enterprises through partnerships with financial institutions with the hope of ensuring low interest wholesale loans and direct lending to entrepreneurs, as well as providing credit certification to said small, medium and micro businesses. The Finance Minister recently announced that the programme has pledged R220m this financial year to youth related enterprises.
Africa is a world of opportunities and now our leaders know that! Even when the information doesn’t come to you, doesn’t mean you can’t go looking for it!