Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA) have decided to reach out to small business people who would otherwise not bother to apply for loans due to the intricate requirements enjoyed by a privileged few.
CEDA last week commenced their long overdue small micro-enterprise initiative in the form of their “Mabogo-Dinku” loan program.
Up to now, many citizens felt excluded by CEDA’s main development fund as their low-income bracket prohibited them to access monies for working capital and small asset finance – among many other business related endeavors.
CEDA has, in the past, pioneered initiatives that sought to alleviate the burdens of small enterprises such as “The Young Farmers Fund” which many believed lacked substance as a large number of the funds’ beneficiaries did not have the adequate agricultural know how and business acumen to sustain their projects.
The Mabogo-Dinku program, according to CEDA, seeks not only to remedy this situation but to significantly improve it.
This, they say, will be facilitated by the manner in which the program has been intricately crafted to mitigate the risk of default as the loans are security free.
The loans will only be granted to groups (minimum 5 people) as to foster accountability– with each member of the group allocated respective tasks and responsibilities within the enterprise.
These are namely, Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer, Loan Committee and Cell leaders for groups comprising of over 10 people.
CEDA, having learnt from their previous mistakes, now compels lenders to an obligatory three-week training course in which time they will be furnished with knowledge on how to best use the funds effectively and sustainably.
Upon completion of the short course, the lenders will then be availed the funds which they can proceed to utilize in their enterprise.
Should the lenders wish to borrow more money, a minimum of P10 000 should be held in the enterprise’s bank account and lenders should provide documentation to that effect.
Applicants to the scheme are required to be earning less than P3 000 to qualify for the loan and should be prepared to pay a rate of 5% interest per annum.
Applicants can wish to finance any micro or small enterprise as long as it is legal under the laws of the State.
The loans range from P500 – P150 000.
CEDA have apportioned P20 million for the fund but are willing to increase it if demand requires.
Speaking at the official launch of the loan scheme, Chief Executive Officer – Thabo Thamane, elucidated on what the program aimed to achieve.
“Mabogo-Dinku is aimed at addressing five key issues namely; poverty alleviation, financial inclusion, economic empowerment, job creation and lastly – women and youth empowerment.” He said.