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The National Centre for Youth Development (NCYD) is to undertake consultations aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship, and exposing young persons to Government’s support services.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Senator Warren Newby, made the announcement at the Awards Ceremony of the Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League (JCCUL) Thursday (July 8) at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston.
At the function, 11 students, who were successful in their GSAT examinations, were presented with bursaries, valued at $20,000 each, to offset school expenses.
“The first such forum will be held in Tivoli Gardens, West Kingston in the month of August,” Senator Newby revealed.
He said that the programme seeks to provide mentorship, as well as business etiquette and principles to young entrepreneurs. It will be supported by the Jamaica Youth Business Trust (JYBT), a youth entrepreneurship development organisation, and Junior Chambers International (JCI).
Senator Newby also revealed that the NCYD, which falls under the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, has assumed responsibility for the Government’s Youth Entrepreneurship Programme (YEP), a major initiative of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), and plans are afoot to rejuvenate the programme through a series of initiatives.
He said that the money allocated under YEP has been moved to the JYBT, a youth entrepreneurship development organisation, to support entrepreneurship. However, he said that the funds were insufficient and help was needed from the private sector.
He also called on the JCCUL to create a pool of venture capital funds to support youth enterprise in Jamaica.
“It would be an unprecedented move here, but we will only be supporting a move that has been made by our CARICOM partner, Barbados. Together, if we work at this initiative we can increase the rates of start-ups, and also the survival rate for small businesses in Jamaica,” he said.