Eastern Cape Development Corporation mobilizes to support SMEs – SABC News

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The Eastern Cape Development Corporation says funding is in place to eradicate poverty and inequality in commercial sectors. The Venture Capital Fund and the Small Town, Rural and Township Entrepreneurship Program are the two funding schemes that have been introduced in Mthatha.

ECDC says it will focus on informal and formal SMEs in the province. The goal is to create sustainable jobs and have a good economic impact.

Access to finance is one of the issues facing young people in the province. Informal business owners say their businesses have collapsed due to a lack of funding. Many say they end up running out of their start-up capital.

“I started my business in 2022, with the money I had saved since 2020. It collapsed because the money was not enough. If I can get financing, it can really help me get my business going again. I also learned that starting a business with small capital cannot sustain the business,” says Manelisi Mzuwakhe, an informal business owner.

One of the recipients says the funding will help him create sustainable jobs.

“I got my funding from ECDC in 2016. They helped me a lot to get where I want to be. They also funded me for the marketing and branding of the car. Throughout of those years, they helped me wherever I needed help,” says beneficiary Siyabulela Zulu.

The Eastern Cape Development Corporation says the venture capital fund is providing up to R3 million.

“The venture capital fund is for… ideas from the Eastern Cape that require funding. Thus, the financing structure provides subordinated loan financing which contributes to improving the attractiveness of the application fund for SMEs in the EC. This facility provides funding of up to R3 million,” said Ayanda Wakaba, CEO of ECDC.

ECDC says a renewal strategy will be implemented to ensure that funding is accessible to all and that there is no mismanagement of funds.

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