Gov’t set to Launch New Loan Programme, ‘YouStart’

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The Government of Ghana is set to launch a new loan programme to curb unemployment among the youths.

According to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, ‘YouStart‘ will provide the youth with Entrepreneurial Support, Business Advisory service and many more.

The Finance Minister noted that ‘YouStart’ will support youth-led enterprises with “District Level Loans under GHC10, 000 after 2-3 months of training, soft loans of up to GH¢50,000 to help start-ups (in particular by young graduates and school leavers) and small businesses to expand, starter packs (soft loans tied to equipment acquisition) of up to GH¢50,000 for individuals and GH¢100,000 for associations/groups, a standardised loan package of between GH¢100,000 to GH¢400,000 at concessional rates for SMEs through financial institutions.”

Beneficiaries under the initiative will have access to funding, skills development, among other benefits.

“YouStart will provide our youth with the following: Skills Development, Entrepreneurial Support, and Business Advisory services including funding [access to Competitive Credit and Starter Packs; Enterprise Promotion [mentoring and access to markets including portals to facilitate “digital linkages” between youth-led enterprises and other businesses and relevant Government agencies,” he said.

Giving further details, he indicated that the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), and partner financial institutions, will serve as the implementing arms of ‘YouStart’.

“Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for support through a dedicated ‘YouStart’ online portal. NEIP will also engage our Faith-Based Organisations as partners for the delivery of essential artisanal skills, business competitions, and feasibility studies and introduction to financing institutions with a commitment of up to 10% of GOG contribution to the ‘YouStart’ programme,” he indicated.

“Mr. Speaker, the ‘YouStart’ initiative aims to support our youth to develop commercially viable businesses. To this end, YouStart is designed to instill proper commercial orientation in the beneficiaries. This will include financial institutions determining the credit metrics and GEA and NEIP providing training support, especially for the standardised SME loans. ‘YouStart’ will be operational by March, 2022,” he said.

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