YouStart portal goes live on Monday
The government will on Monday (November 14, 2022) launch the YouStart Ghana Jobs and Skills Application portal which will receive applications from potential beneficiaries of a GH₵1 billion entrepreneurship fund.
YouStart seeks to support young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training and technical skills that will enable them start, build and grow their own businesses.
It 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.
The government through the YouStart programme intends to build an entrepreneurial nation by providing some of the key enablers that make entrepreneurship a success. These include access to finance and markets, mentorship, strategic partnership and digital linkages, technical assistance and business advisory support service.
Given the high rate of youth unemployment in the country, Government intends to use the YouStart programme to create more jobs for the economy and to support the expansion and growth of Ghanaian businesses within the next three years. YouStart is being funded by proceeds from the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy).
In January this year, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo urged the youth to take advantage of the initiative which he said would create 1 million jobs in the next three years.
In an address at the 73rd annual New Year School and Conference, President Akufo-Addo said YouStart was the most comprehensive initiative to provide an effective solution to the country's youth unemployment challenge.
"It will support young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to enable them to launch and operate their own businesses as well as employ others," President Akufo-Addo said.
He said under the initiative young entrepreneurs could apply for support through a dedicated YouStart online portal.
The support that will be offered as part of the programme includes; skills training and development, entrepreneurial support, business advisory services, competitive credit and starter packs as well as mentoring and access to markets.
President Akufo-Addo said successful applicants of the YouStart programme will be eligible for starter packs including soft loans ranging from GH₵10,000 to GH₵50,000 as well as standard loan packages of between GH₵100,000 and GH₵400,000 at concessional rates.
"Successful applicants will be eligible for soft loans of up to GH₵50,000 to help start-ups, young graduates, school leavers and small businesses to expand," he said.
“Starter packs for equipment acquisition) of up to GH₵50,000 for individuals and GH₵100,000 for associations and groups. A standardised loan package of between GH₵100,000 to GH₵400,000 at concessional rates for SMEs through financial institutions”.