Bulawayo youths plead for financial support

Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association executive director, Michael Ndiweni

BULAWAYO youths have pleaded for financial support for their start-up projects co-ordinated by the Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA).

BVTA executive director, Michael Ndiweni, said conditions set by financial institutions, including microfinance groups meant that the youths would not be able to borrow to get their projects off the ground.

The vendors group is running a project dubbed ‘Safe and Inclusive Cities’ designed to incubate projects initiated by the youths.

“There is no meaningful financial inclusion, particularly from packages that exist in microfinance institutions or banks. They are exclusive in their nature because the premiums are high for smaller start-ups,” Ndiweni said.

 Ndiweni said collateral security demanded by financial institutions for loans was an obstacle for the youth.

“There is also demand for collateral in terms of assets like vehicles for surety, and most young people don't have these kinds of assets. They have also decried issues of the turnover period, which takes a lot of time for them to get a response after applying for financial support,” he said.

He added: “As BVTA we are encouraging young people to create alternative sources of capital like converting or downgrading those assets into start-up capital.

“We are also encouraging them to move with technology and bring solutions beyond the usual sources of income like poultry farming and other practices. They should come up with disruptive and innovative ideas and bring solutions to enhance market linkages.”

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