NYDA – National Youth Development Agency

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) was established in 2008 to help address some of the problems facing South African youth, such as skills development and unemployment. The NYDA plays a lead role in ensuring government, private sector and civil society make youth development a priority by identifying and implementing solutions to address the various challenges in the arena of youth development in South Africa.


 NYDA’s New Focus

The National Youth Development Agency has shifted its core business primarily away from Enterprise Finance towards Education and Skills Development. The fundamental change in this area of development is the change from loan provision to grant provision for young entrepreneurs.

The NYDA no longer offers loan finance to young entrepreneurs, but instead grant finance in the form of micro-finance grants for survivalist youth entrepreneurship and co-operative grants for greater participation of youth in the co-operatives sector.

The objective of the Grant Programme is to provide young entrepreneurs an opportunity to access both the financial and non-financial business development support to establish their survivalist businesses. The programme focusses on youth entrepreneurs who are just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential but are not yet fully developed. The grant finance starts from R1 000 to a maximum of R100 000 for any individual or youth co-operative.

The new plan of the NYDA therefore focusses on tailor-made interventions for job preparedness and placement, a focus on scholarship provision for those who excel in schools, the scaling up of the YouthBuild Programme for out-of-school youth, the increase of second chance opportunities for matriculates’ and the intensification of our highly successful career guidance programme. The NYDA continues with efforts directed at economic participation offering a range of products, programmes and services to young entrepreneurs in need, albeit as a secondary focus.

 Types of NYDA Funding Available

For youth entrepreneurs seeking grants, grants are available for (and not limited to) motor mechanics and panel beaters, electricians, plumbers, domestic appliance repairs and services, hair dressers, cleaning companies, beauticians, small-scale recycling businesses, car washes and street vendors to name just some. Grants can be issues through the following channels:

  • Individual grants issues to formal and informal businesses that in the start-up phase of their business or in the development stage.
  • Grants issues to co-operatives, meaning an autonomous association of people united to meet common economic and social goals through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.
  • Another avenue is community development and facilitation projects.

 Qualification criteria

NYDA grants are available to individuals or co-operatives that meet the following criteria:

  •  Applicants must be youth (18 to 35 years old) with the necessary skills and experience or show the potential of skills for the business and industry in which they wish to operate
  • Applicants must be South African citizens with ID documents and operate their business within South Africa
  • The applicant must need the grant to start or grow their business i.e. no other source of capital
  • Applicants must be involved in the operation and management of the business on a day to day basis and be prepared to work in it full-time
  • The business may be formal or informal and categorised as a micro-enterprise, e.g. street vendor
  • The enterprise must show, or have potential to be commercially viable and sustainable
  • Applicants should be sole traders or in the case of groups have a minimum of five people.
  • Grants may be used for working capital, asset finance and stock purchase.


Apply through Funding Connection

At Funding Connection we understand the complexities of the various funding agencies, and the unique application criteria for each. We have assisted numerous entrepreneurs through the application process to access funds like this for business growth, and we can assist you with the same.

  • If you would like to begin the application process through us, please start by filling out our free assessment.
  • If you have already begun the process and would like to consult with us, or need a business plan review, please click here to contact us