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High school and tertiary level students, graduating this month, are invited to attend the orientation sessions for the Young Entrepreneurs Programme (YEP) to be held at locations across the island between June 17 and July 9.
The schedule for the sessions, which will run from 1: 00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., is as follows:Kingston – June 17 at the HEART/Trust Cosmetology School, 10 Hope Road; Garmex HEART Academy, 76 Marcus Garvey Drive; Vocational Training Development Institute (VTDI), Gordon Town Road; and Rockfort Vocational Training Centre (VTC), 203 Windward RoadPortland/St. Thomas – June 19 at the Buff Bay VTC, Lynch Avenue; Port Antonio Marina (Old) Market Street; and Paul Bogle Skills Training Centre, Morant BaySt. Catherine – June 20 at the Portmore HEART Academy; Dinthill Technical High School, Linstead; and Jose Marti Technical High School, Twickenham ParkSt. Ann/Trelawny – June 25, Runaway Bay HEART Academy; and the Falmouth VTCSt. Mary – June 26, Port Maria VTCSt. James/Hanover – June 27, Cornwall Automotive Training Institute, Montego Bay; and Kenilworth HEART Academy, Sandy BayWestmoreland – July 2, Culloden VTC; and Petersfield VTCSt. Elizabeth – July 3, Junction VTC; St. Elizabeth Technical High SchoolManchester – July 8, Mandeville VTDI campus Clarendon – July 9 at the Ebony Park HEART Academy; and the May Pen Methodist Church Hall
Secondary and tertiary level graduates interested in starting a business can now access a $200 million loan facility made available by the Government under the YEP.
It will ensure that those, who demonstrate strong entrepreneurial spirit and drive benefit from training and access financing for viable projects.
To be eligible, students must be recommended by their educational institutions; exhibit an interest in self-employment; and be willing to participate in a series of training seminars to be conducted by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), HEART Trust/NTA, Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and 4-H Clubs to help them manage their businesses, before they receive any of the funds.
Graduates are also required to prepare a business plan and conceptualise an idea that is technically and financially viable, as well as demonstrate an ability to repay the loan. Young persons will present their respective business plans to a micro finance institution of their choice for review.
Each successful loan recipient may obtain up to $100,000, or four persons in a group could access $400,000. Interest rates will be set at 10 per cent for the life of the loan, with a 12-month repayment period for individual loans, including a maximum of six months moratorium on the principal payment.
The programme was announced by Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding in the 2009/2010 Budget Debate last month, as part of a $2.2 billion package to assist the small-business sector.