Business News of Mon, 10 Aug 20154

First batch YES beneficiaries receive support

Almost a year after the setting up of the Youth Enterprise Support (YES) by President John Dramani Mahama, 107 pioneer beneficiaries have been selected from across the country to receive their support packages today in Accra.

The first batch of 107 young men and women, aged between 18 and 35, were screened out of a total of 2,048 initial applicants.

Another group of 350, chosen from the same batch, are being prepared to follow the pioneers after they had met with a carefully chosen selection committee of knowledgeable business persons.

The pioneer batch has also been given adequate training that is expected to result in the starting of businesses on a profitable and sustainable bases with start-up capital from the state.

The prime objective of the YES is to facilitate Ghana’s economic growth by harnessing the vision and creativity of young entrepreneurs through the strategic provision of financial and expert business support.

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The work of the committee would be to do a forensic analysis of the business proposals of the applicants in order to ascertain their viability and sustainability and make recommendations for changes where possible.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of YES, Ms. Helga Boadi, told the Daily Graphic in an interview that the sole vision of YES was a non-regime specific social intervention with the purpose of leaving a legacy for posterity.

The driving force of the YES, she said, was to ensure that the youth of the country were predisposed to viable entrepreneurship that would enhance national growth while cutting down on the level of youth unemployment.

Ms Boadi said the beneficiaries had been taken through business clinics where they were equipped with relevant skills to be able to effectively manage their businesses.

The money needed for the execution of the various projects that they would be embarking on, she said, would be released based on a drawdown schedule that had been prepared.

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She said the money for every stage of the business would be released to the beneficiaries at the point where the money was needed.

Ms Boadi said the prime objective was to minimise risk since there was the temptation on the part of anyone who had a sum of money lying idle in the account, “we are all humans,” she added.

Her outfit, she said, would continue working with the beneficiaries until such a time that they were able to wean them off.

Ms Boadi said the money to be used in supporting the beneficiaries was not a grant as had been the norm in the past but an interest-free loan payable upon the attainment of sustainable growth by the beneficiaries.

To ensure that viability, she explained that after the project began, there would be constant monitoring and evaluation from the start of the projects to their maturation.

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She added that there would be stringent book-keeping to ensure that there was viability and progress.

Going forward, she said the overriding concern of YES was not to do business as usual, as had been the experience of some social interventions in the past.

“I see YES growing into one of the strongest government social interventions for the youth. We want to make a meaningful impact that would be really tangible and be there for succeeding generations to see,” Ms Boadi said with optimism.

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