Access to Finance
“It is great to have LEDNA, which serves as a perfect forum for linking and learning among LED academics and practitioners.”
Dr. I.H. Kawa, Traditional Irrigation and Environmental Development Organisation (TIP), Tanzania
“In our cities we find both poverty and wealth in very close proximity. Local economic development process seems to be one of those strategies to address the challenges and hence my interest on this network.”
Hamisi Mboga, Secretary General of the Association of Local Government Authorities of Kenya
Bridging the Access Gap
Project Manager: Neo Seleke
Funding provided by Credit Suisse (CS).
Credit Suisse is a Swiss bank established in 1856 which specialises in private and investment banking as well as asset management. As part of its Corporate Social Investment program, the company registered the Credit Suisse Foundation which invests in humanitarian and philanthropic work particularly in developing countries.
The main objective of the project is to increase small businesses’ contribution to job creation in the Gauteng province of South Africa through improved economic performance and competitiveness.
- 60 Unemployed young people were recruited, trained and mentored through the Youth Entrepreneurship Program - 29 of them started their own businesses;
- 2 Small Business Expos were held in Soshanguve and Mabopane, where small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs were given access to information and opportunities that could help start or grow their businesses;
- Pre- and post-mentoring interventions were provided to 60 small businesses over a period of 12 months;
- The project also provided institutional capacity building to Soshanguve Times, a community newspaper by ensuring that its journalists are adequately skilled, it’s content relevant and that readership and circulation increases in order to attract more advertisers;
- We appointed a media consultant;
- The project partnered with Maravedi, a registered financial service provider whose purpose was to help reduce the barriers to credit;
- We created interactive platforms via Small Business Expos in 6 townships of Pretoria where Information and Awareness Campaigns were held;
- An estimated 50 000 SMEs were reached through campaigns in community newspapers and radio;
- The project has forged partnerships with key financial institutions (FIs) where the focus is to increase access for SMEs who are not catered for.
- Over 10 000 SMEs were provided with relevant business information through the project’s various activities on radio, print media and interactive forums;
- 60 SMEs were trained on financial literacy, mentored and assisted with business plan development and compliance;
- 3 local business centres were assisted with institutional capacity- building;
- 60 unemployed youth were trained on business and life orientation; 10 mentors were trained on Business Plan Appraisal and Risk Mitigation;
- 60 SMEs were mentored and assisted to develop business plan for their businesses, comply with the regulatory framework and put internal control systems in place;
- 106 Jobs were created and 29 youths started their own business.