Appraisal of enterprise development finance programmes of the National Youth Development Agency
Thesis (MDF)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The South African population involves huge numbers of young people. The majority of these young people are unemployed and unable to make a living as a result of the inability of the economy to absorb them into the labour market. Other young people attempt to make a living through entrepreneurship. However, the participation of young people in entrepreneurship is very low. Young people face many challenges associated with lack of funding and business development support services, technical skills and development. The problems facing the country substantially caused socio-economic challenges resulting in a shrinking economy. This translated into an inability of both the private sector and government to create and sustain jobs. The government of South Africa established the National Youth Development Agency (here called the Agency) with the mandate to reduce poverty by making sound investments. This facilitates opportunities for young people to acquire skills, promote creation of jobs or pursue meaningful self-employment opportunities through various enterprise development initiatives. The agency developed the Enterprise Development Finance Programme as an economic development approach. The agency provides access to financial and non-financial services to the previously disadvantaged youth in a sustainable manner that improves and promotes sustainable livelihoods for the low-income groups. The study evaluates the effectiveness of the EDFP. The public and private sector offers different programmes aiming at equipping aspiring and established entrepreneurs with skills, knowledge, and motivation to enable business development and growth in the country. However, the challenge is that many do not have entrepreneurial minds. Those who have entrepreneurship knowledge do not know about the programmes, or the programmes are not easily accessible particularly to people in the rural areas. In addition, these programmes are not co-ordinated and as result we are not in a position to tell immediately as to who is doing what and where. This also makes it difficult to identify gaps and to maximise the impact of the programmes. There is a need to audit all programmes aimed at improving the economic development of the country. The government of South Africa must instil a culture of entrepreneurship at all levels to promote and nurture entrepreneurship skills. Vigorous entrepreneurial activity and innovation is needed to alleviate high unemployment levels through a combination of improved quality education and skills development. Promotion and support of entrepreneurship should form an important component of policy options considered to increase economic growth for the long term. The Economic Development Finance programme provides SME and microfinance funding which is seen as an important strategy for economic growth. Education and skills development is an important tool that supports the culture of entrepreneurship, as it contributes to the success of businesses. The private and public institutions should intensify their involvements and consider both financial and non-financial support for youth enterprises and entrepreneurs equally. The support for entrepreneurship should be holistic and cover funding, technical training, training in business and financial management, and business linkages.