JIS News

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Senator Warren Newby, has informed that the Government is partnering with the Prince of Wales Trust to create the Jamaica Youth Business Trust, an initiative aimed at fostering youth entrepreneurship in Jamaica.
“This will provide venture capital funds to citizens under the age of 30 with the only collateral requirement being restricted to their willingness to accept a mentor from the established private sector and a sound business plan. This will come on-stream in August of this year. Come next year, we will be seeking to expand this scheme,” Senator Newby explained, during his contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Upper House on July 18.
The Prince of Wales Trust, a charity set up in 1976, is aimed towards helping young people fulfill their potential. It is the United Kingdom’s leading charity that helps young people to overcome barriers and improve their lives.
The Prince’s Trust currently helps four groups of young people: the long-term unemployed; people who have been in trouble with the law; people who are in difficulty at school; and people who have been in care.
In the meantime, the Parliamentary Secretary informed that a committee has been established to develop a set of policy recommendations aimed at “facilitating an environment whereby youth are able to establish and successfully operate their own businesses.” These recommendations, he said, are to be submitted to Cabinet by November of this year.
He pointed out that Jamaica is considered very entrepreneurial, and that according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring Report, approximately 17 per cent of the population had an interest in conducting some form of business.
“The report further highlighted that Jamaica’s overall rate of entrepreneurial activity compares favourably with countries such as New Zealand, considered among the world’s most entrepreneurial countries,” Senator Newby said.
In the same vein, however, Senator Newby noted that youth unemployment in Jamaica currently stands at almost thrice the national average, but that studies indicate that the establishment of new and small businesses is an engine for job creation and that countries with a greater entrepreneurial thrust, experience a significant reduction in unemployment rates.
“Therefore it is important that Jamaica takes action to create and support the enabling conditions under which young people can access capital, take risks in their own interest and that of the country at large,” the Parliamentary Secretary argued.
Senator Newby encouraged young persons to start businesses, “from agriculture led by the efforts of the 4H Clubs, to tourism under the guidance of the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), to entertainment and the cultural industries.”

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