The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has been set up to provide small businesses with funding and non-financial support so that they can establish and grow their businesses. The fund mainly focuses on young entrepreneurs who have sustainable business ideas/models, or those that have promising businesses that are already up and running. The financial and non-financial support offered by NYDA includes;

  • Leadership training and mentorship
  • Consultancy services
  • Networking and market linkages
  • Business management training and development
  • Youth development and training
  • Funding of individuals and businesses with a maximum value of two hundred and fifty thousand for various industries including agriculture, technology and manufacturing
  • Partial funding, cofounding or funding required to make a deposit for a loan

The Grant Programme

The grant programme is one of NYDA small business funding. There are 3 major grant types which are

  1. Grants for individuals
  2. Grants for Co-operatives
  3. Grants for development Facilitation

The grant is used for the following purposes

  • To buy movable and immovable property/assets
  • As bridge financing
  • For office or shop renovations
  • For co-funding
  • As working capital

To qualify for the NYDA Grant

  • You should be between 18 to 35 years of age, or must apply 3 months before turning thirty five
  • Must be a South Africa citizen
  • Should possess the skills and experience relevant to your business venture. Or should possess the potential skills appropriate for the business you intend on running or are currently running.

Other Qualifying criteria is as follows;

  • Submission of all required documents
  • The business owners or members of the company should all be South African Citizens
  • The owners should be involved in the day to day running of the business with at least one member working full time in the business venture
  • The business should operate within South Africa
  • The applicants must complete the life skills training and development program or related program
  • The applicants must have a business mentor or coach that is approved by the NYDA if not must be allocated one by the NYDA.
  • The business of project should be viable
  • Must have a profit motive and the business idea should be commercially viable
  • The business must have a bank account
  • The applicants must operate formally or informally as a street vendor, or as an emerging enterprise.

The NYDA Small business grants amounts are outlined as follows;

Type of Enterprise Grant Amount
Start-up R1 000 – R10 000
Newly formed Private companies and Co-operatives R10 000 – R50 000
Startups or Co-operatives at the growth stage R50 000 –  R100 000
Expansion stage Private companies and Co-operatives R100 000 – R200 000
Other Agriculture or technology projects Maximum of R250 000


The Sponsorship and Thusano Fund

The sponsorship and thusano fund is also one of the NYDA small business fund. The thusano fund, that translates to helping hand, is for assisting small scale immediate needs. It functions over and above the organisation’s sponsorships.

The qualifying criteria for the fund is listed below;

  • People or individuals that need to settle overdue tertiary fees or school fees
  • People that need financial assistance to pursue short courses
  • Non profit organisations requiring a once off financial support
  • Non profit organisations in need of equipment
  • Funding for social development or awareness

Only funding requests of up to R50 000 per person or organisation are considered

The Business and Development training program

In addition to funding for small businesses, the NYDA provides training programs for young entrepreneurs. One of the goals for the NYDA is to create an environment where young entrepreneurs can succeed.  An environment where apart from funding, young entrepreneurs can access entrepreneurship skills, knowledge, and the right values for their business.

Some of the services offered by this include among others;

  • Pre start up idea generation
  • Survivalist
  • Early development
  • Growth and Expansion

NYDA Voucher program

In addition to small business funding and business development the NYDA provides consulting services to small businesses through the voucher program. This voucher program is another way of small business funding and also a small business support programme that is focused on helping young entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are provided with business development support through the NYDA business consultancy service providers. This way they can be assisted in participating and competing in South Africa’s business environment. The consultancy services are accessed by young entrepreneurs through these vouchers. The vouchers range from R6 600 to R19 800 and there is no contribution fee required for  participation. Each registered business is entitled to a maximum of two hours worth of vouchers per business development.

Some of the business services that can be accessed through this voucher are listed below’

  • Business support services from an approved services provider
  • Busines or project feasibility study
  • Bookkeeping services and financial Administration
  • Business Re-engineering
  • Assistance with website Development and hosting
  • Marketing plans and strategy
  • Overall business plan development

How to Apply for Business Voucher;

  • Complete an application form and submit
  • Submit your company registration document if registered
  • After submission the application is assessed
  • If approved you can select an NYDA accredited service provider
  • If declined you can be referred to another support service provider


Eligibility for the Voucher

  • An applicant must be between the age of 18 to 35
  • The applicant must be a South African Citizen or permanent resident
  • If the applicant does not have any entrepreneurial background s/he should attend the entrepreneurship development program
  • All the members of the business must be 18 to 35 years old
  • The entity must be owned by young people
  • The business should operate within the borders of South Africa

There are a lot of small business funds in the country that have helped young people with their businesses. Most of these funds target previously disadvantaged people in South Africa such as black people and women. The NYDA small business fund has also assisted a lot of entrepreneurs with funding and non financial support in order to grow their businesses. Also, this fund has helped to create employment for many. Currently twenty four thousand youths have been assisted by the NYDA and about twenty thousand jobs have been created.