JIS News

Opportunities available to young people through participation in the Young Entrepreneurs Programme (YEP), were the major focus of a meeting sponsored by the Development Bank of Jamaica at the Old Marina in Port Antonio on June 19.
The programme was announced by Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding in the 2009/2010 Budget Debate, and is part of a $2.2 billion package to assist the small business sector.
The programme will allow students of secondary and tertiary institutions to submit ideas about the kinds of businesses they wish to start. The ideas will be evaluated by micro-lending institutions. Students selected for participation are required to attend training seminars to help them manage their business, before they receive any of the funds. A maximum of $100,000 can be accessed by a successful applicant.
Micro-lending institutions include Jamaica National Small Business Loans Limited; Nation Growth Access Finance Services Limited; Micro Credit Limited, and selected Credit Unions.
The meeting, which was attended by young people representing a number of organisations in Port Antonio, also provided information relating to business operation and development.
Addressing the meeting, Entrepreneurial Specialist and Consultant to the HEART Trust/NTA, Heather Wright, said the objective of YEP is to help beneficiaries achieve success by providing the necessary support they will need every step of the way.
She said the programme is unique in its nature, as applicants are given the support they need even before they receive the loan they applied for, and that it provides access to lower cost financing for starting new businesses.
Miss Wright explained that beneficiaries are provided with the necessary training to successfully manage their business, and are exposed to business opportunities at orientation sessions, designed to heighten their awareness about the success that can be achieved from managing a business successfully.
She also pointed out that beneficiaries of the programme would have the services of a business advisor, in addition to being provided with help in respect of the packaging and marketing of their products.
Also addressing the meeting was Chartered Accountant and Consultant to the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Winton Williams, who informed members of the audience about the institutions from which financial assistance can be accessed under YEP.
He also informed them about the various processes through which the loan applications are taken before final approval.

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