The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Akufo-Addo says the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) has begun the processing of 288,800 applications of individuals for support under the government’s Youstart Initiative.
During the state of the nation’s address, he said the programme, intended to provide the needed support to young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, market, training and technical skills among others, had successfully been piloted in 2022 with 70 youth-led businesses supported with GH¢1.98 million.
YouStart is a vehicle through which the Government intends to provide funding and technical support to the youth between the ages of 18 and 40 to start and grow their businesses.
It is anchored on three programmes- District Entrepreneurship, Commercial programme and the Grace programme.
The District Entrepreneurship Programme (DEP) is designed to support urban and rural nascent entrepreneurs and existing micro businesses with technical and financial support to enable them to start up and grow their businesses.
The Commercial Programme is designed to support medium-sized businesses with technical and financial support services to scale up existing businesses and will be spearheaded by banks and other Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs).
The Government and the PFIs will be required to provide funding based on an agreed ratio and a designed standardised product.
The Grace programme will be spearheaded by Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) across the country.
It focuses on providing technical skills training and business development support services to individuals and businesses to enable them to become employable and scale up their businesses.
The programme targets unemployed youth especially graduates (i.e., SHS and University graduates), vulnerable and needy persons, rural entrepreneurs, and micro businesses, especially women-owned businesses.
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