PROJECTS worth US$2,9 million have been approved in the past 12 months under the US$10 million Old Mutual Kurera/Ukondla Youth Fund. The fund was launched late in 2011 as part of Old Mutual's indigenisation and empowerment agreement with the Government, which also saw an additional US$1 million being committed for training the youth in business skills.
Of the approved US$2,9 million, just over US$1,9 million has been disbursed. Statistics from the Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Ministry show that at least 1 952 projects were approved from a total 13 201 applications between January 2012 and January 11 this year.
The bulk of the projects are in the agriculture sector where 829 projects worth US$1,32 million were approved followed by distribution with 522 projects valued at US$701 400. Manufacturing got US$576 000 for 394 projects while service and mining sectors got US$275 600 and US$51 000 for 183 and 24 projects respectively.
At least 2 438 of the applicants were taken for capacity building in their specific project areas.
The average loan size is US$1 500.