Life-changing News

2023 budget: YouStart to drive creation of 1m jobs in 3 years

Despite a freeze on public sector employment, the 2023 budget statement and economic policy targets to create jobs through full scale implementation of the YouStart programme.

Pilot phase gives GH₵1.98m to 70 young entrepreneurs

Already 70 young entrepreneurs below the ages of 40 years have benefited from the government’s piloted YouStart Programme with a sponsorship amount of GH₵1.98 million.

Pilot conducted in February 2022

The pilot phase   was implemented in February 2022, involving 85 young entrepreneurs.

Growing start-ups

YouStart is to deliberately grow start-ups and contribute to the government’s agenda of creating one million jobs but depend largely on the support of banks.

ICT, poultry, textiles, agro-processing, food processing

This is to support youth-led Small and Medium Enterprises in the poultry, agro-processing, ICT, textiles, and food processing sectors.

Wealthy, inclusive, sustainable, empowered, and resilient society

It aims at establishing a wealthy, inclusive, sustainable, empowered, and resilient (WISER) society, with young people at the core who are more confident about their place in the world

Easing constraints for existing and aspiring young entrepreneurs

YouStart seeks to ease constraints for young entrepreneurs under the Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (CARES) programme, which is part of efforts to address the high youth unemployment rate in the country.

GH₵10bn for YouStart

Through YouStart, government intends to commit about GH₵10 billion over the next three years towards the creation of at least a million jobs in the economy.

YouStart part of GH₵100bn Ghana Cares ObaatanPa” programme

The programme forms part of the GH₵100 billion Ghana Cares “ObaatanPa” programme which was launched by Government in November 2020 to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, return the country to a sustained path of robust growth and to create a stronger, more resilient and transformed economy.

13.4% unemployment rate

The 2021 Population and Housing Census puts the youth unemployment rate at an all-time high of 13.4%.

1.55m economically active population not employed

This translates into 1.55 million out of the 11.54 million economically active population.

32.8% aged 15 to 24 unemployed

Ghana Statistical Service data shows that 32.8% of Ghanaians aged 15 to 24 are unemployed.

50% working population underemployed

Even among individuals who appear to be employed, 50% are categorised as underemployed.

Funding and technical support youth-led businesses (18-40 years)

The YouStart programme is a vehicle through which Government intends to provide funding and technical support to the youth (18-40 years) and youth-led businesses to assist them start, build and grow their own businesses.

YouStart benchmarked against successful US, UK models

The programme is benchmarked against similar successful models in the world including the Small Business Administration (SBA) in the US and the British Business Bank, UK.

Building an entrepreneurial nation

The government through the YouStart programme intends to build an entrepreneurial nation by providing some of the key enablers that make entrepreneurship a success.

These include access to finance and markets, mentorship, strategic partnership and digital linkages, technical assistance and business advisory support service.

Youth from the ages of 18 – 40 years with minimum education of BECE, willingness to start a business as well as school dropouts already in business are eligible to apply.

District Entrepreneurship Programme launched

Already, YouStart District Entrepreneurship Programme has been launched and YouStart Ghana Jobs and Skills application portal opened to receive applications from potential beneficiaries of a GH₵1 billion entrepreneurship fund.

Soft loans from GH₵10,000 to GH₵50,000

YouStart programme is eligible for starter packs including soft loans ranging from GH₵10,000 to GH₵50,000.

Standard loan packages GH₵100,000 and GH₵500,000

The programme also has standard loan packages of between GH₵100,000 and GH₵500,000 at concessional rates.

13 leading banks join YouStart

With a combined commitment of GH¢10 billion, government has signed a contract for the YouStart Commercial Programme with the Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB) and 11 leading banks.

Government will contribute a portion of the programme money to the commercial programme, and the participating financial institution will be expected to match government’s funds based on an established ratio and a planned standardised product.

No collateral for loans

There will not be any collateral for businesses to access loan under the programme, and the recovery is also dependent on the beneficiaries.

Conditions for accessing loans

The conditions for accessing the scheme includes existing businesses whose prime movers were the youth between ages 18 and 40, prove that their employees are contributing to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and that 50% of their employees are between 18 and 40.

They will also have to show that their businesses, when supported, would be profitable and create youth employment.

Commercial component of YouStart

Government is looking to inaugurate the Commercial component of the YouStart Programme by the end year to enable qualified beneficiaries to access support.

Manufacturing module under YouStart

A new module of the programme in manufacturing is being developed to support the local production and supply of components and spare parts for the automotive industry in the country.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry will launch and commence implementation of the policy in 2023 to create jobs for the youth.

Training component of commercial module

Through the commercial module of the YouStart, young people with business ideas or those who had started businesses will be trained by professionals at the National Banking College, Chartered Institute of Bankers and other institutions.

Product certification and quality assurance

Beneficiaries who successfully graduate from the training will be assisted to obtain product certification and quality assurance for their products and services, to ensure that their businesses conform to standards, regulations and the laws of their industry.

Implementing agencies

The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) and National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) are the implementing agencies of the programme, whose goal is to create a Wealthy, Inclusive, Sustainable, Empowered and Resilient (WISER) society.

They would be supported by the National Youth Authority, Ghana Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Service and Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) in its roll-out.

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