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The SA government on Friday (14 December) launched a R2-billion fund to help small business startups that create jobs and contribute towards the growth and development of the economy.
SANews reported on Friday that fund is part of the Project Development Partnership Fund (PDP) — established through a joint venture between the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), an entity of the Department of Labour.
While the fund won’t exclusively be aimed at tech startups, but rather at all small business startups in general, the Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant (pictured above) revealed that the fund will invest in projects that are focused on addressing South Africa’s socio-economic challenges through tech solutions aligned to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Speaking at the launch of the fund in Pretoria on Friday, she said the fund is expected to create and support over 10 000 jobs.
The R2-billion PDP fund will invest in projects that are focused on addressing SA’s socio-economic challenges through techs solutions aligned to the Fourth Industrial Revolution
In addition, the fund will be directed specifically at performing the following roles:
- Offering funding to create and grow small businesses, therefore creating new companies.
- Create companies in specific sectors such as agribusiness and bio-science, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing and ICT, social infrastructure, water and related services, financial services, and youth innovation.
- The fund will also be investing in PIC Youth Fund, affordable housing and infrastructure funding.
“New and transformed fund managers will also be created through this process. Through a transparent and competitive process, specialised black-owned fund managers will be selected to drive investments across the sectors,” said Oliphant.
She said this would create new black-owned fund managers in an industry where only 24% of players have a BEE score better than level four.
Furthermore, there will be an emphasis on black youth and women-owned businesses at the underlying investment level, she said.
In addition, the UIF will seek to create synergies between the fund and training programmes through among other things, establishing an incubation programme aimed at supporting and training entrepreneurs and small businesses. The PIC would assist the UIF in facilitating this programme through a PIC academy for incubation.
Featured image: Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant during the launch of the new PDP fund (GovernmentZA via Flickr)