Saturday 2017-12-16




By Lusito Tsela | 2017-12-10

THE Graduate Enterprise Programme (GEP) received close to E1 million from the National Industrial Development Corporation of Swaziland (NIDCS), Swaziland Industrial Development Company (SIDC) and the Swaziland Development Finance Corporation (FINCORP).

GEP aims at creating job opportunities for graduates from institutions of higher learning who have not been absorbed by the formal job markets.

NIDCS pumped in E500 000, SIDC E280 000 and FINCORP E100 000, which brings the money to a total of E880 000.

Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Jabulani Mabuza applauded the three entities for the vital role they have played in assisting government at this time of need, as the programme would assist graduates through capacity development, provision of loan deposits and linkages with development finance institutions.

Mabuza said the resources the companies provided would assist government to change the employment creation of the country, with particular emphasis on the youth.

“I also want to invite other corporate in the country to come forward and partner with us as we fight the scourge and negative effects of unemployment and poverty,” he said, during the sponsorship presentation on Wednesday at the ministry’s offices.

Mabuza said they received a total of 252 applications which required a total capital funding of E33million.

 “This is estimated to create 1162 jobs by the graduate enterprise. These proposals represent the dreams that our young people have, we need to guide them and contribute to their realisation,” he said.

A total of 200 applicants were trained and awarded entrepreneurship certificates, the minister revealed, saying “the graduates underwent intensive training in topics like ‘understanding entrepreneurship, personal survival budget, business idea generation, business information, importance of business planning, components of a business plan and writing and presenting the business plan,’ to mention a few.”

“Looking ahead, it is envisaged that business plans will be forwarded to funding institutions whereby a five per cent deposit will be provided for each qualifying business while monitoring will be conducted through mentoring and provision of aftercare guidance where necessary,” he stated.

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