The Ministry of Finance and the YouStart implementation agencies, in collaboration with the Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development Ministry, have held a sensitisation workshop for Regional Ministers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives in the southern part of Ghana comprising the Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions.
The one-day programme took place in Accra on Thursday 26th May 2022, and was aimed at educating Regional Ministers/Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives on the YouStart programme and how they can provide support services for potential beneficiaries in their various areas. The programme forms part of a nationwide stakeholder plan being implemented by government ahead of launching the YouStart programme in July.
Addressing the media after the programme, Deputy Finance Minister and Member of Parliament for Ejisu, Dr. John Ampontuah Kumah, highlighted that the objectives of YouStart can only be achieved if Ghanaians understand the importance of entrepreneurship and job creation in the current economic structure of the country.
“Currently, 92% of enterprises in Ghana are micro, small and medium enterprises, and they contribute to 83% of employment in Ghana and 70% to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. If you want to transform the economy, you must pay attention to them,” he said.
According to the Deputy Minister, in order to ensure that the Youth – irrespective of where they find themselves – can access the programmme, government is working closely with all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives across the county.
Present at the event were the Minister For Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development and member of Parliament for Okere, Mr. Dan Botwe; Deputy Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development and Member of Parliament for Akwapim South, Hon. Osei Bonsu Amoah; and Chief Executive Officers of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme and the Ghana Enterprises Agency, Mr. Kofi Ofosu Nkansah and Mrs. Kosi Yankey-Ayeh respectively.
YouStart is being funded by the Electronic Levy.
YouStart is a programme that seeks to support young entrepreneurs in gaining access to capital, training and technical skills that will enable them start, build and grow their own businesses. This initiative targets young people and students between the ages of 18-35 years who have brilliant business ideas and viable businesses, and supports these individuals to nurture, grow and expand their businesses and job creation in the economy.
Government through the YOUSTART programme intends to build an entrepreneurial nation by providing some of the key enablers which make entrepreneurship a success. These include: training & capacity building, access to market, technology and procurement opportunities, Business development support services, access to finance (up to GH¢500,000) and compliance and quality assurance support.
Given the high rate of youth unemployment in the country, government intends using the YouStart programme to create more jobs for the economy and support the expansion and growth of Ghanaian businesses over the next 3 years.