Government, through the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, has set up a ZWL$17 Million Relief Fund to support youth-led businesses and associations and to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on their operations across the country.
Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry said the fund, given as a grant is meant to provide relief support to youth enterprises affected by the coronavirus endemic and the measures being taken to contain the virus.
She said the fund is to “build capacity among youth led businesses and registered youth organisations engaged in activities complementing the National Task Force’ relief efforts such as manufacturing and distribution of protective materials such as face masks, sanitisers, soaps as well as those engaged in other social supporting activities such as public awareness campaigns.”
The fund also complements other relief initiatives by Government according to the minister.
In terms of criteria to select recipients to the fund associations or enterprises owned by Zimbabwean youths and must have been existing and operating for a period of at least six months to a year before the lockdown.
The organisations must demonstrate how their activities have been impacted by Covid 19 pandemic.
“Their (recipients) project/business must have a formalised business structure and complying with the statutory requirements governing that sector,” Coventry said.
The recipient should also demonstrate innovation, value addition, and or beneficiation.
“Enterprises helping combating Covid19 will be given priority in the release of funds,” said Coventry.
“The association or enterprise must be able to produce a bank statement dating back 6 months to a year prior to the lockdown.”
Zimbabwean citizens aged between 18-35 years qualify for the fund.
Registered Youths owned businesses will get up to $5 000 and up to $3 000 for Youth Social Organisations/ Associations.