A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), aimed at providing further assistance for young people to start and be successful in their own businesses, was signed yesterday (Oct. 26) between the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and the Jamaica Youth Business Trust (JYBT).
Under the agreement, the JYBT will provide training and other business support for potential youth entrepreneurs as part of government’s efforts to promote the economic development of the country’s young people. Already, the government has partnered with the organisation to provide venture capital funds to citizens under the age of 30 with the collateral requirement being a sound business plan their willingness to accept a mentor from the private sector.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Hon. Olivia Grange (right), greets Director of Retail, Wealth and Small Business Banking, First Caribbean International Bank, Christopher Denny, at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), aimed at creating more opportunities for youth entrepreneurs, on (October 26), at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, speaking at the signing ceremony and press conference at her New Kingston office, said that MoU will have far reaching impact.
“Even though we are talking about venture capital we want to ensure that the funds are used very well and that we are able to help others through the efficient operation of these businesses,” she said.
In the meantime, she informed that the policy on youth entrepreneurship “will be going to the Cabinet very soon and once Cabinet signs off, it will even further empower you. We really want to fast track our programme as there are a lot of young people out there with very brilliant ideas, good business sense, good business plans, but they lack the funding and venture capital is something that we think is very important.”
Director of the JYBT, Christopher Denny, said that the organisation seeks to assist young people “who might not have the opportunity to achieve economic independence by themselves.”
“We think our model brings great opportunity and advantage to the success of that youth initiative because we include a particular structure (that) starts with a business plan that needs to meet a set of rigid criteria and thereafter, a mentor is involved and a regular reporting regime is maintained,” Mr. Denny outlined.
He congratulated the Ministry for taking the initiative to sign the MOU. “We really want to salute the government for coming forward in this way. We know that the (government) has had this vision for a very long time so we are really very pleased,” Mr. Denny said.
Established in 2000, the JYBT seeks to help young people between the ages of 18 to 20 to initiate and maintain their own businesses. The organisation assists young people with start up capital, business mentoring and consistent business support.