The government 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, GreatDykeNews24 reports.
According to the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry, the fund is meant to support business run by young people and mitigation measures to stop the spread of the disease.
“Zimbabwe has of now recorded 29 cases with 4 of them having succumbed to the pandemic. Many businesses have been affected by the pandemic and the youth sector has also not been spared.
“The fund which is being given as a grant is meant to provide relief support to youth enterprises affected by the corona virus pandemic and the measures being taken to contain it.
“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.
“These activities should comply with the prevailing guiding regulations.
“To promote innovativeness, value addition and/or beneficiation among youth-run enterprises and to complement other relief initiatives by Government,” she said.
She added that the fund targets youth enterprises, and registered youth associations.
“The following criteria will be used to select recipients of 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.
“Must demonstrate how their activities have been impacted by covid 19 pandemic.
“Their project/business must have a formalised business structure and complying with the statutory requirements governing that sector,” said Coventry.
According to the Minister, the projects must also demonstrate innovation, value addition, and or beneficiation.
She added that, “Enterprises helping combating Covid19 will be given priority in the release of funds.
“The association or enterprise must be able to produce a bank statement dating back 6 months to a year prior to the lockdown.”