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Financing a business is one of the hardest things any entrepreneur will ever have to do, and many never find the funding they need to get started outside their own internal resources and supporting structures.
This is because many private companies have not yet reached a stage where they are willing to commit themselves to giving back to the economy.
It may also be that entrepreneurs are not aware of the means to source start-up funds. Starting a new business in SA may pose major financial challenges, especially if a business idea is so new and so cutting-edge that it’s never been implemented before.
This type of new business will make it hard for the owner to find a sample business plan that matches it. This, in turn, makes it hard for an entrepreneur to get funding.
Tailored to fund start-up and unique-existing businesses, the Youth and Graduate Entrepreneurship (Y-AGE) programme has managed to make the idea of funding new businesses sensible and viable to both public and private organisations.
This means more businesses will be empowered through this mindset. SA will then realise the potential it has in its youth in terms of business viability. Y-AGE will also identify how the government as well as the private sector can help to groom this potential, thus developing our country’s economy, giving it a vibrant, competitive personality.
Starting a business in any economy requires a lot of market research. Aspiring entrepreneurs who have conducted their research are likely to have heard the term private equity and wondered what it means. Private equity can help an entrepreneur launch a new business. Simply put, private equity firms are companies into which third-party individuals invest their money.
The private equity firm in turn invests that money in other businesses, typically to either own that entire business or a share of it.
This, of course, will depend on the agreement between an entrepreneur and the funding business. Since the programme launched, Y-AGE has so far been received with enthusiasm.
The programme has managed to increase public awareness about the importance of investing in new businesses and ideas. A number of private companies have already come forth and shown interest in the Y-AGE initiative.
They want to contribute to the country’s growing economy, with the understanding that it is everyone’s responsibility to give back to the economy. These companies have indicated varying ways in which they can contribute to the programme. The partnerships that have been formed thus far include media partnerships and outreach programmes as well as knowledge sharing.
Since Y-AGE began, big organisations are surfacing with vast interest in the growth, expansion and modernisation of small business operations. This will ensure the maximum participation of private financing sources.
When a company invests in smaller or new businesses, it is indirectly but very influentially helping to improve and stimulate the national economy. The company is also motivating and supplementing the flow of interaction between the small or new business, the product, customers and the economy.
As the programme has come to its implementation, an urgent need has emerged to identify and where possible quantify the entrepreneurial opportunities that youths going through the programme will be exposed to.
By rolling up their sleeves and supporting programmes such as Y-AGE, private companies demonstrate that they understand that commitment to transforming the economy does not only mean donations in the form of funding and sponsorship, but mentorship and training too.
Private companies need to be aware that investing in the entrepreneurial businesses started by the young people on the programme means participating in and giving back to the economy that helps to launch them.
When these entrepreneurs’ businesses are up and running, they will not only generate income for them but also create jobs for others. This will contribute to alleviating poverty and eradicating some of the associated side-effects. This is the kind of ripple effect that SA needs to take our country forward.
l For more information, visit www.y-age.co.za, call 010 590 0260 or sms 34747