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IDC CEO launches youth portal

IDC CEO Mvuleni Geoffrey QhenaIDC CEO Mvuleni Geoffrey Qhena

In its 2016 financial reporting period, the IDC approved R970million in 19 transactions for entities in which youth held more than 25%.

Yet, IDC CEO Mvuleni Geoffrey Qhena reckons, the corporation could have achieved more if it were not for structural challenges facing youth funding including, undeveloped balance sheets, limited skills and capacity and inadequate access to information and capacity.

Keen to ramp-up funding to youth-owned enterprises in the financial year ahead, the IDC has launched a youth portal whose objective among others is provide an inter-active site for youth entrepreneurs to engage on  challenges, opportunities and other critical issues affecting them.

"This portal has many functions which our youth can utilise for free. For example, you can obtain advice on how to start a business-a service which in most cases our youth end up paying for when they could be saving that money and use it for their capital requirements. They can also use the platform to test whether their ideas are feasible," said Qhena.

Benefits of the portal

Outlining further benefits of the youth portal to delegates to the inaugural national youth conference, IDC Public Relations Manager, Mr Mandla Mpangase who initiated the concept explained that development funding institutions including the IDC need to be innovative in marketing of their services and funding products.

"Our youth are technology savvy. They want to know what IDC, NEF or sefa have in store for them at the click of a phone or computer button. The objective of the portal was to move us away from conventional into the more interesting social media marketing space. Another interesting aspect of this portal is that it will be managed by youth," said Mpangase. Although not a panacea to funding constraints facing the youth, Mpangase is confident that the portal will help increase the pipeline for youth funding especially with the anticipated support from private sector.

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