JIS News

The Development Bank of Jamaica, (DBJ) has announced that under the Young Entrepreneurs Programme (YEP), the loan ceiling for graduates of Tertiary Institutions has been increased to $250,000 per applicant for the establishment of viable business enterprises. Two graduates may borrow a maximum of $500,000 to fund one project. The limit for high school leavers remains at $100,000 per applicant. Four high school leavers may borrow a maximum of $400,000 to fund one project.
“The decision to increase the loan ceiling for this cohort of school leavers was taken after careful consideration and discussions with the Honourable Prime Minister”, Mrs. Yvonne Lewars, General Manager, AFI Relationships, at DBJ stated.
“Aspects of our discussions that weighed heavily on our decision were the fact that having attained the age of eighteen, tertiary level students are able to enter into binding contracts, and they can be held liable. Additionally, this cohort is more advanced and their educational training would have exposed them to the rudiments and nuances of managing a successful business,” she continued.
“We are positive the students from UWI, UTECH, Edna Manley College and the Community Colleges will be pleased with the increase. Two applicants can combine to access up to $500,000”, she explained.
“The month of August has been designated for interface with tertiary level graduates”, explained Wayne Beecher, a member of the consortium engaged to provide business development services. “We meet with UTECH students on Thursday, July 30 at 1:00 p.m., in the Faculty of Education & Liberal Studies Lecture Theatre 9B”.
“We are presently working with the Career & Placement Units of the other tertiary institutions with a view of setting up the meeting schedule for students during August. Students are urged to call their respective institutions for the date and time. Information can also be obtained from the YEP hotline at 929-4015-7” explains Mr. Beecher.
YEP is a social safety initiative announced by the Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding in his 2009/10 Budget Presentation and is geared to providing self-employment opportunities for 2009 graduates who will not be pursuing continuing education immediately or may not be able to find positions in the workforce.
The Programme is being spearheaded by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), which will provide some $200 million in funds to be on-lent through Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) to borrowers for viable business projects, at a rate of 10% per annum.
The MFIs involved in YEP are: Access Financial Services Limited, JN Small Business Loans Limited, Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League, Micro Credit Limited, and NationGrowth MicroFinance Limited.
School leavers are able to access up to $100,000 for viable businesses and up to four applicants can combine to access $400,000.
YEP implementation began in June 17, 2009 with orientation sessions across the island. To date approximately 900 participants from high schools have been exposed to the programme. Three-day workshops are scheduled to begin on July 28th and will continue for two weeks across the island.

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