Leading the Free State growth path | Fin24

Leading the Free State growth path

Sep 03 2017 06:00
Chimwemwe Mwanza

Johannesburg - As the newly appointed regional manager of the IDC in the Free State, Nina Yose is well versed in the challenges facing the province.

The 37-year-old chartered accountant was born in the Free State and regards the region as her home.

Having joined the IDC in 2008, Yose is now its youngest and only female regional manager.

Chief among her immediate objectives, she says, is to make the IDC the financier of choice for large and small businesses in the province.

Despite being one of the best-performing provinces in terms of agriculture production in the country, growth has been tepid.

According to research group IHS Global Insight Regional eXplorer, even though the Free State’s economy is projected to grow, on average, by 3.1% for the period 2013 to 2017, it is expected to lag behind the other provinces in terms of growth.

This is attributable mainly to the gradual decline in production activities, especially in key drivers of the Free State’s economy which include manufacturing, mining, agriculture and agroprocessing.

It is a daunting challenge and Yose is aware that she has to find ways to help the province’s economy punch above its weight in order to achieve her objectives.

Although she has a financial background, it is her strong technical footing in the mining and metals sector that will be key to helping her unlock manufacturing- and mining-related opportunities in the province.

“The experience I gained working at head office over the past eight years prepared me for a much bigger role in the corporation,” she says.

She wants small businesses in the Free State to help revitalise the province’s manufacturing base.

“We also want to increase the number of black-owned entities in the agroprocessing sector. And it is important to nurture youth- and women-owned entities to reduce the province’s high youth unemployment rate.”

This, she says, is in line with the IDC’s mandate to support economic development by facilitating the creation of job opportunities.

“Achieving these goals will require that I identify opportunities and facilitate the meeting of minds between various stakeholders – including government departments, state-owned enterprises and the private sector – which can then assist in ensuring that we help Free State entrepreneurs put together bankable business plans and set up sustainable businesses.

“I believe I am ready and up for the task at hand,” says Yose.

idc  |  economic development


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