The Youth Enterprise Support (YES) has disbursed GH¢1.2 million to offer both financial and technical support to beneficiaries in the agriculture, services and cottage industries sectors of the economy.
This is part of the GH¢2.7 million allocated to support about 107 applicants who were adjudged by an expert panel to have met the criteria for the YES assistance.
It followed the screening and business clinics of 365 applicants who were selected to present and defend their business proposals before an expert panel drawn from relevant professional bodies and business sectors.
This was made known by Mr Boateng Dadson, a representative of the YES secretariat at a meeting of stakeholders of the Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (AYE) in Accra to discuss youth enterprise development.
The meeting, which was attended by various stakeholders from YES, youth led groups, young entrepreneurs, the National Youth Authority and representatives from the banking sector, was sponsored by the Business Sector Advocacy Fund (BUSAC).
Mr Dadson said 2,048 applications were received by the deadline from all the 10 regions with a sector breakdown comprising 45 per cent of agriculture/agribusiness, 31 per cent of services and 24 per cent in the cottage industry, adding that screening of applications yielded 1,681 valid applications.
The Chairman of AYE, Mr Alain Gbeasor, congratulated team members at YES on availing themselves throughout the advocacy process.
“Our partnership in this advocacy enabled us to be part of the process and the business clinics, thereby realising that the real issues for young entrepreneurs is not only about the funding but also largely about capacity development, discipline and the eye to spot opportunities,” he said.
Mr Gbeasor thanked the executive members of YES for making the right changes to move the initiative from the initial grant to an interest free loan.
The President of AYE, Mr Tonyi Senayah, who was nominated as one of the judges on the selection panel, briefed the meeting on the measures taken since the process started and the progress that had been made.
The meeting called on the government to consider putting all youth enterprise development funds under YES, which had the core mandate to identify, nurture and support entrepreneurs.
This, it said will effectively harmonise the various sectors of engagement and make for a qualitative and quantitative assessment of their activities.