Mbabane: Seven entrepreneurs who were beneficiaries of the Youth Enterprise and Revolving Fund (YERF) have successfully settled their loans with the institution.
Of these, five are females and two males. In total, these seven businesspeople were lent E226 596 all of which has been returned
This was announced by the Minister of Sports Culture and Youth Affairs, Harries ‘Madze’ Bulunga at the Sibane Hotel on Wednesday in an event organized by the YERF to thank and congratulate the beneficiaries on successfully settling their loans with the fund.
The seven young entrepreneurs are the first group since the revival of the Youth Fund to fully settle their loans.
Despite the seven beneficiaries that have paid their loans in full, the YERF has funded a total of 187 businesses since 2018.
The minister congratulated them saying this was worth celebrating since the businesses have settled their loans and fully complied with its terms something which is a core element of good business practice and is also a good indicator that the business is being run well. Bulunga also said this was proof that the young people are willing and ready to work and to create better lives for themselves and those around them.
Of all the businesses that have replayed the loans, two of them are companies and five are sole traders. Four are from the Manzini region, two from Hhohho, and one from the Shiselweni Region.
The businesses have been able to create about 14 job opportunities, Bulunga said they were certain that the number will grow as the business expands.
He highlighted that this is the biggest indicator that the youth fund model as an intervention against youth unemployment in Eswatini is working and that these youth-owned businesses supported by the Government are thriving.
As part of congratulating the beneficiaries, the entrepreneurs were also given to buy material for their businesses.
YERF CEO Bhekizwe Maziya said the main aim is to encourage the entrepreneurs to upscale their businesses as well as create the zeal from the other beneficiaries who are still paying their loans to eventually pay them in full.
Maziya said it was heart-warming to note that 71 percent of the excellent payers are women. “This is contrary to the statistics on successful loan applicants where 60 percent of them are the male counterparts,” he said.
Maziya said there were notable challenges that were faced by the entrepreneurs. He said they still face several challenges that hinder them from starting and running successful businesses. Paramount to the challenges is the lack of business opportunities. As a Fund Maziya said they appreciate the continuous funding support we receive from the government.
Youth Entrepreneurs Representative Sqondile Ngwenya, thanked the fund saying they are grateful for the funding opportunity from Government through the Fund. “We know as the youth that we are high risk yet were given this opportunity to start our businesses.” She also thanked the fund for providing guidance and mentorship throughout their business journey.
The table showing the list of beneficiaries who have repaid their loans in full
|PPE and cleaning material||1||F||Manzini|
|Botique & mobile money||1||F||Shiselweni|
|Mobile Money||3||2F, 1M||2 Hhohho, 1 Manzini|