The Member of Parliament for Dormaa East, Paul Apraku Twum Barimah has advised the youth in Ghana to take advantage of the opportunity created by government with YouStart in the 2023 budget to establish and create wealth.
Speaking to the New Crusading Guide in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the 2023 budget presentation by the Finance minister, Ken Ofori Atta, at the Parliament house, Honourable Paul Twum Barimah revealed that there are a lot of job opportunities in the youstart program for the youth to explore.
“Government has allocated a huge sum of money under the You Start program with the aim of assisting the youth to establish, grow and expand their businesses to create wealth for themselves and their businesses. I want to urge them to take advantage of the opportunities created under the program and submit their proposals for consideration and support,” he stated in an Interview.
Under the YouStart programme, Government plans to create a minimum of one million jobs for the youth over the period 2022-2025, through the provision of soft loans for the setting-up of youth-led enterprises. According to the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, the YouStart programme was successfully piloted with 70 beneficiaries and an amount of GH¢1.98 million disbursed to support youth-led (below the age of 40 years) SMEs with training and capacity building, access to markets, technology, procurement opportunities, business development support services, compliance and quality assurance support and finance. The beneficiary sectors included poultry, agro processing, ICT, textiles, and food processing among others.
Honourable Paul Twum Barimah noted that as part of efforts to address the high youth unemployment rate in Ghana, Government initiated the ambitious entrepreneurial programme in the budget with the objective of building an entrepreneurial nation and creating at least 1 million jobs for the youth in the next 3 years (2022 – 2025).
The YouStart programme is a vehicle through which Government provides funding and technical support to the youth (18-40 years) and youth-led businesses to assist them start, build and grow their own businesses.
The programme is benchmarked against similar successful models in the world including the Small Business Administration (SBA) in the US and the British Business Bank, UK.
Government has committed about GHS10 billion over the next 3 years towards the creation of the million jobs in the economy. This is being achieved with part proceeds from the Electronic Transaction Levy (e-Levy) and other funding sources like the World Bank, IFC, MasterCard, select PFIs and other DFIs.
The YouStart programme forms part of the GHS100 billion Ghana Cares “ObaatanPa” programme which was launched by Government in November 2020 to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, return the country to a sustained path of robust growth and to create a stronger, more resilient and transformed economy.