CEDA has funded over 6, 000 businesses since its inception, in the process creating over 50, 000 jobs, CEO Thabo Thamane told the media on Tuesday. Thamane was updating the media on a number of key issues that the agency has undertaken over the past years in supporting the local startups ranging from manufacturing, agriculture, services and tourism. Moreover, Thamane said they have funded youth-owned businesses to the tune of P326 million in the Agriculture sector. The total amount spent on youth projects has already reached P600m, most of which went into agriculture funding. The CEDA chief said the huge amount spent on Agriculture was propelled by the Young Farmers Fund which saw a big uptake of the funds. Less than P100 million was spent in property and manufacturing while the services industry took P173 million.
Contrary to speculations that CEDA relies mostly on government subventions to assist the applicants, Thamane said what they receive from government is just a fraction of what they disburse, allaying assumptions that the agency might be cash strapped. CEDA receives around P247 million in subventions from government and Thamane said they are able to double that amount by adding from their own coffers. While the agency, according to Thamane, is doing all it can to support businesses that they fund they are concerned by the sub-standard business plans that applicants come up with. The other issue, he said, is the mismanagement of the projects, revealing that 20 percent of the projects that they funded have been abandoned.