JIS News

The Manchester leg of the Young Entrepreneurs Programme’s (YEP) orientation sessions have been rescheduled for Friday (July 24).
They will be held at the HEART Vocational Training Development Institute (VTDI) campus, Grove Road, Mandeville and Holmwood Technical High School, Christiana. Both sessions will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The sessions were originally slated for July 8, but had to be cancelled due to the ban on public gatherings in Manchester resulting from the spread of the Influenza A HINI virus.
Speaking with JIS News, Coordinator of YEP, Pauline Nelson, said that the sessions are geared at getting the students out to tell them about the programme, and to motivate them, so they can see self-employment as an option.
“It is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I would encourage all school leavers in Manchester with an interest in self-employment to attend the sessions,” Miss Nelson urged.
She noted that the Manchester sessions will be the last of 24 sessions held islandwide, with approximately 1,000 school leavers establishing interest to participate in the programme.
“Following the orientation sessions, the school leavers will be invited to participate in a three-day work shop, where they will be taught how to manage a small business and to develop business plans which they will then take to the Micro Finance Institutions to access loans. The successful candidates will also be exposed to post-support services to include coaching and mentorship,” Miss Nelson pointed out.
“YEP is a good start. We all know the kind of economy Jamaica and the world is experiencing right now, so to start a business of your own and make it into a success, the multiplier effect is unbelievable,” she said.
She suggested that the programme could be seen as “a pillar to move and get production within the country rolling.”
The Young Entrepreneurs Programme is a pilot project geared at providing self-employment opportunities for 2009 graduates of high schools and tertiary institutions.
Under YEP, school leavers will be provided with training and have access to financing to establish viable micro/small businesses.
The Programme, first announced by Prime Minister Bruce Golding in his Budget speech, has been funded with $200 million and is managed by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ). Funds will be on-lent through Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) to borrowers at a rate of 10 percent for the life of the loan.

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