JIS News

Phase one of the Young Entrepreneurs Programme (YEP), has ended, following five weeks of Orientation Sessions island wide, with approximately 1000 school leavers exhibiting interest to participate in the programme
YEP, a social safety initiative announced by Prime Minister the Hon Bruce Golding in his 2009/10 Budget Presentation, is aimed at ensuring that 2009 school leavers of high schools and tertiary institutions, who are interested in starting their own businesses, are exposed to training, have access to funding and are provided with post-loan support services. Under the programme $200 million will be on-lent to Micro Finance Institutions by the Development Bank of Jamaica which manages the project.
As a prelude to their application for credit, the YEP has a series of training and support initiatives, intended to increase the likelihood of the young entrepreneur’s ability to access funding and manage a successful enterprise.
The first of these, Module One, was a series of orientation sessions held islandwide. “Orientation Sessions began in the Kingston Metropolitan Area on June 17th and at that time we had anticipated that some 2000 graduates/school leavers would attend the orientation sessions”, explains Manager, Entrepreneurial Services at HEART Trust Clive Grossett.
“We have had to cancel Orientation in Manchester because of the ban as a result of the HINI. However a new date has been arrived at and Orientation for Manchester will now be held on Friday, July 24th in two locations: at the Mandeville VTDI Campus at 26 Grove Road; and at the Holmwood Technical High School in Christiana”, Mr. Grossett continues.
“We are encouraged and pleased with attendance in some locations”, states Executive Director of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC). “Approximately 130 participants attended the session at the HEART Academy in Runaway Bay St. Ann; and 150 at the HEART Academy in Half Way Tree Kingston” he continues. Attendance in St. James; Westmoreland was less than desired. To this end we are moving to hold regional sessions in late August to ensure that all school leavers who missed the first set of Orientation will have another chance to ”get on board’.
“Currently we are contacting candidates who will move on to Module 2; which is the three-day workshops. This is where participants who are really interested in starting their own businesses and who have the true entrepreneurial spirit will be exposed to training in managing and running an enterprise. The sessions will commence on July 15 in the KMA and then rolled out across the island over the next four weeks,” states Wayne Beecher of Success Financial Service.
Under the Young Entrepreneurs Programme a successful candidate who has been through all Modules of the Programme will be able to access up $100,000 to start his/her own micro business. Loans are to be accessed through any of four MicroFinance Institutions island-wide; Access Financial Services; JN Small Business Loans Limited; Micro Credit Limited and NationGrowth MicroFiannce Limited. Interest rate on the loan is set at 10 per cent on the reducing balance.

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