KINGSTON — Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange, says entrepreneurial activities by Jamaica's youth, are critical to the growth of the economy.
She added that the Government is developing a new entrepreneurial thrust, which will target mainly young people to assist the process.
"The Government is strident in making entrepreneurship a part of its policy, so that there can be longevity for young businesses. Bodies (such as) the Jamaica Youth Business Trust and the Young Entrepreneurs’ Association exist to give start-up capital, as well as to monitor and guide these businesses,” Miss Grange said in a message delivered by Director of Youth Policy and Programme Development in her Ministry, Roberta Brown Ellis.
The message was delivered at a youth entrepreneurship forum, in recognition of Caribbean Youth Day, at the University of Technology (UTech) campus in Kingston Friday (September 30).
"Our young people make up the largest segment of the population which means that, if Jamaica’s economy is to improve, there needs to be a culture of enterprise. More financially stable young people contributing to the economy means a better life for all,” she said.
She stated that, based on the world economic outlook, entrepreneurship was one of the most viable options for any young person, today.
"If you have a good business idea, it is best to run with that because the job market has gotten even tighter. The Government is well aware of the fact that many young people are unemployed, unattached and at risk, because there just aren’t enough jobs for everyone,” she said. However, she noted that collaborative efforts, with the private sector, were being explored.
"As a Government we are committed to facilitating entrepreneurship, because we are confident that a culture of enterprise will set the platform for building the country's labour force," she said.
The forum, which was geared at sensitizing youth employability issues, also showcased the accomplishments and talents of the youth. It was organized by the Youth Ambassador Corps and the Kingston Parish Youth Council, under the supervision of the National Council for Youth Development (NCYD).
Caribbean Youth Day, observed annually on September 30, provides an opportunity to celebrate and highlight the achievements of young men and women, while reinforcing their contributions and roles in the sustainable development of the Caribbean.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter