Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Government has set aside $40 million as a venture capital fund to assist entrepreneurs and organisations that have viable business ideas.
This was said by Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu during a post Cabinet briefing this week.
The initiative brings to $100 million the total funding Government has provided this year to industry.
“Government has put aside $40 million in the review budget which is a venture capital fund which we want to use to support any brilliant innovative ideas that are coming from our people or if there are any companies that are showing signs of growth but require funding,” he said.
“So again Treasury has set aside $40 million for this. This is how Government wants to assist industry. It may never be enough but there is certainly some assistance that is going to industry.”
Minister Ndlovu said Government had provided $30 million through the Industrial Development Corporation to assist companies.
“We did get $30 million from Treasury which was targeting at companies through IDC and in the budget review we got an additional $30 million so it is from that fund that we to see most of the interventions bearing fruit.
“Most of the initial $30 million was going towards working capital for companies that are struggling. So we will probably see how the next $30 million is deployed but we need to measure the impact of these in terms of production and in terms of the contribution of manufacturing to the economy and certainly we will be able to measure at the end of the year,” Minister Ndlovu said.
Government has also provided $30 million to retailers whose properties were damaged during the violent demonstrations instigated by the MDC Alliance and its civil society allies in January.