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General Manager of the Approved Financial Institutions (AFI) Relationship at the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), Emmy Lewars, is encouraging principals to attend Young Entrepreneurs Programme (YEP) meetings.
Mrs. Lewars said this is necessary for the principals to effectively promote the programme to students, and submit recommendations for participation before the secondary and tertiary institutions are out this summer.
“Without any reservation, your role in YEP is vital and we believe we will reduce the potential for failure, if we receive the principals’ input from the start. So we are really appealing to all principals to attend the meetings,” she told a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank session Thursday (June 4).
She said that the meetings are to promote and advise schools’ principals to assist in getting the list out, because time is short.
“Students are doing exams at this time and, before they leave for holidays, we should be able to have those orientations and sensitisation seminars, and they need to know that they are all invited,” Mrs. Lewars said.
The next meeting will be Monday June 8 in Montego Bay St. James at the Wexford Court Hotel Conference Room, for the parishes of Westmoreland, Hanover, St. James and Trelawny.
“We are really appealing to the principals that, if you can’t come in person, send a representative, so that we can really partner properly on this. And [we have to remember that] there is a time crunch. All the meetings will start at 10 a.m. sharp and last for approximately two hours,” she informed.
Meetings will also be held on Tuesday, June 9, at the Golf View Hotel Conference Room, Mandeville, Manchester for the parishes of St. Catherine, Clarendon, Manchester and St. Elizabeth.
The final principals’ meeting will be on Wednesday, June 10, at the Windsor Ball Room of the Jamaica Grande Hotel, Ocho Rios, St. Ann for the parishes of St. Ann, St. Mary and Portland.
According to Mrs. Lewars, the feedback from the first principals’ meeting, which took place on Wednesday (June 3) at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston, for the parishes of Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Thomas, was positive.
“We had very positive feedback from the principals and, as a matter of fact, each person, after the programme was through, actually indicated that it was really good and that they are 100 per cent behind the programme and they will be participating fully,” she disclosed.
Principals are expected to promote and advise suitable school leavers of the opportunities which YEP presents. They must also inform them of the scheduled orientation seminars and the requirements to participate.
Senior teachers are expected to refer students, indicating in writing that in their best judgement he or she is a suitable candidate to participate in the programme.
Confirmation of attendance at the meetings, or submission of lists of students can be made through the Jamaica National (JN) Call Centre and the Credit Union League, at any of their branches islandwide, or any of the approved micro finance institutions, including JN Small Business, Nation Growth, Micro Credit and Access Finance.
The Youth Entrepreneurship Programme (YEP), was announced by Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding in the 2009/2010 Budget Debate last month. It is part of a $2.2 billion package to assist the small-business sector.
The programme will allow students of secondary and tertiary institutions, who are graduating this month, to submit ideas about the kinds of business they would wish to start. The ideas will be evaluated by micro-lending institutions. Students selected for participation are required to attend training seminars, to help them manage their business, before they receive any of the funds.