A three-day training programme has been held in Accra for frontline staff of financial institutions participating in the YouStart Programme.
The training, organised by the Ghana Association of Banks (GAB) in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance through the YouStart Secretariat, is to sharpen the customer service skills of the staff to be better able to handle the expected large numbers of applicants when the government's YouStart programme takes off.
YouStart is a government of Ghana initiative to support youths between the ages of 18 and 40 to build commercially viable businesses.
It is open to all young persons who are running Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) as well as individuals with business ideas they would like to turn into a profitable venture.
Beneficiaries will be trained on the rudiments of entrepreneurship and business management and funded with loans to start and/or expand their own businesses. Government hopes, through this initiative, to create one million jobs over the next three years.
The three-day training programme was officially opened by Mr. John Awuah, CEO of GAB who was at pains to point out the key role of the frontline staff in the successful implementation of the programme.
He disclosed that measures had been put in place by the Ministry of Finance, through the YouStart Secretariat, to ensure that new businesses requiring services of the Registrar General’s Department and other relevant state departments were given the necessary assistance.
Presentations were made by representatives from the YouStart Secretariat and officials of the participating financial institutions.
The YouStart programme is partly funded with proceeds from the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-levy). It will be run on three sub-programmes, namely YouStart Commercial Programme (CP), the YouStart District Entrepreneurship Programme (DEP), and the YouStart Grace Programme.
YouStart Commercial is being implemented in partnership with a consortium of commercial banks, anchored by the Ghana Association of Banks (GAB).
Another model is the YouStart District Entrepreneurship Programme which is based on the geographical spread of MMDAs across the country and is designed to support start-ups, rural enterprises, individuals with workable business ideas, and group businesses.
A third model is the YouStart Grace Programme, spearheaded by Faith-Based Organisations, such as churches and mosques. It focuses on providing technical skills training and business development support to individuals and businesses to enable them to become employable and scale up their businesses.