He gave the indication when he addressed attendees at the YouStart pilot beneficiries pitch session organized in Accra on Wednesday, March 2, 2022.
According to the Deputy Minister, the YouStart initiative forms part of a bold and audacious agenda introduced by government to revitalize and transform Ghana’s economy post-COVID-19 to create jobs and prosperity for all.
“We have commenced the process to build the next set of Ghanaian millionaires and billionaires through the YouStart programme in a coordinated and structured manner starting with this piloting phase,” he added.
The programme will be implemented by the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), and partner financial institutions with a GHS 10 billion funding from government. This the Deputy Minister said will help government accelerate job creation and ultimately create more than one million jobs for Ghanaians in the next three years.
He said, specifically, YouStart will support youth-led enterprises with soft loans of up to GH¢50,000 to help start-ups (in particular by young graduates and school leavers) and small businesses to expand; starter packs (soft loans tied to equipment acquisition) of up to GH¢50,000 for individuals and GH¢100,000 for associations and groups; and a standardized loan package of between GH¢100,000 to GH¢400,000 at concessional rates for SMEs from financial institutions.
Additionally, it will provide skills development, entrepreneurial support, and business advisory service to young businesses, provide access to competitive credit and starter packs and create access to markets for businesses including portals to facilitate digital linkages between youth-led enterprises and other businesses and relevant government agencies.
So far, the pilot phase of the programme has supported 115 beneficiaries with funding and technical assistance, and is expected to result in the creation of some 230 direct and indirect jobs.
Present at the event were the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, Deputy Minister for Finance, Abena Osei Asare and other key government officials from the Ministry of Finance as well as representatives of the GEA and NEIP.