Ekurhuleni municipality launches R300m enterprise development fund
JOHANNESBURG - Ekurhuleni has launched a R300 million development fund to provide financial support to black entrepreneurs conducting business within the municipality.
In a statement, it said the Fetola fund was launched on Friday at the Kwa-Thema business hub in partnership with the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) and would benefit at least 500 local entrepreneurs over the next years.
“Economic transformation is an imperative and SMMEs (small, medium, and micro enterprises) are key drivers and contributors to job creation and economic progression," small business development minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said at the launch.
"We need to create an enabling environment for their growth and sustainability, through the right policies and targeted support mechanisms to ensure their participation. Availing information on funding, reducing the cost of funding and bringing business support services closer to communities are some of the measures to unlock funding bottlenecks."
Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina said the municipality had prioritised the small medium enterprises sector as a job creation catalyst that must be fully supported.
“Under the Fetola Fund, entrepreneurs will receive 50 percent of their funding requirement through the regular NEF funding criteria and the balance through the contributions received from city of Ekurhuleni," he said, adding that the municipality's contribution would be priced at concessionary interest rates of between zero and five percent.
Funding under the partnership would be provided to applicants qualifying for NEF financial support where commercial viability of their majority black-owned projects had been proven, Masina added.
- African News Agency (ANA)