A historic partnership agreement, targeted at supporting township and rural black business ventures, entrepreneurship, and starts-ups, was signed between the Black Business Council (BBC) and Ubank Limited on 13 May 2020.
The fund, to the value of R250 million over a period of five (5) years, will be made available to BBC members and other SMMEs and will include sectors such as Information Technology and Digitalisation; Manufacturing; Agriculture and Agri-processing; Retail Infrastructure, and Tourism.
According to the Head of Policy at BBC, Tilson Manyoni, the partnership is a major milestone for BBC as it repositions BBC as a policy advocacy organisation and as an implementing partner ensuring that “our country is transformed, township and rural economy developed and a new cohorts of Black Industrialists and black businesses built”.
“We are now bringing policy advocacy to implementation,” said Manyoni.
According to the statement, the R1 billion Township and Rural Economy Fund will offer immense opportunities to small businesses, especially black businesses that contribute positively towards townships. It will furthermore enable the township businesses to become active participants in the overall economy and provide some resources to give them prospects of success.
“The partnership puts BBC and Ubank at the centre of our country’s economic re-industrialisation and also as a strategic partner for township and rural economy revitalisation in line with government’s mandate to ensure total economic inclusivity as we usher a new decade.”