Black Business Council and Ubank set up R1bn township and rural economy fund

The Black Business Council and Ubank have together set up a R1-billion township and rural economy fund.

In a statement yesterday, Ubank said it signed the “historic partnership agreement” on Wednesday (13 May) to establish a R1 billion fund for Township and Rural Economy Revitalisation.

An amount of R250-million will be available each year for the next five years, to lend to mostly black-owned businesses based in townships and rural areas.

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The fund will invest mainly in those enterprises based in the information technology (IT) and digitalisation, manufacturing, agriculture and agri-processing, retail, infrastructure, and tourism sectors.

Ubank called the agreement with the BBC to set up a R1bn township and rural economy fund, a historic partnership

Ubank said in the statement that the aim of the partnership with the BBC is to develop township and rural market solutions for black companies, support the development of black industrialists, enable economic transformation, and be a catalyst for change and inclusive growth.

The fund will be managed through a joint Ubank/BBC steering committee that will ensure that the fund achieves its intended purpose, which is to support township and rural economies in line with the mandate of the government’s Township and Rural Entrepreneurship Programme (TREP) and fund, which was approved in March.

BBC’s head of policy Tilson Manyoni, in the statement, called the partnership with Ubank a “major milestone” for BBC as it repositions the BBC as a policy advocacy organisation, and an implementing partner.

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“It will ensure that our country is transformed, develop the township and rural economy as well as build a new cohort of black industrialists, and black businesses. We are now bringing policy advocacy to implementation,” he said.

Commenting in the same statement, Vutula the fund will offer “immense opportunities” to small businesses, especially black businesses, which he said contribute positively towards townships.

“It will furthermore enable the township businesses to become active participants in our overall economy, and have some resources to give them the prospect of success,” he said.

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