Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, says Government’s Youstart programme will support young graduates, school leavers and small businesses with sit loans of up to GH₵50,000 to expand their enterprises. The initiative, the Minister stated, would provide youth-led enterprises with a standard loan package of between GH₵100 000 to GH₵400 000 at concessional rates for Small and Medium Enterprises through financial institutions.
Mr Ofori-Atta said this on Wednesday at the maiden Youth School of this year’s New YearSchool and Conference in Accra.
Speaking on the topic: “Building a Sustainable Entrepreneurial State: Government’s Policy forHarnessing our Population Dividend” the Minister advised the youth to take advantage of business opportunities to better their lives and contribute to national development.
The YouStartprogramme was introduced by the Government in 2020 as a vehicle to support the youth through the development of commercially viable businesses for access to capital, training and technical skills to enable them operate and be self-sustaining.
The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) is implementing the programme in its 16 regionaloffices-business advisory and resource centres across the country.
Mr Ofori-Atta explained that the initiative would be possible if the electronic-levy was passed,saying. “The levy is an essential tool to increase our tax to Gross Domestic Product ratio from13 per cent to 16 per cent.”
“The E-levy will help to reduce borrowing and ensure we have the revenue to sustainably invest in entrepreneurship, youth employment, road infrastructure and debts concerns about the E-levy has energised the government to initiate a stakeholders’ consultation and optimistic that with the desire to develop and create jobs for the teeming youth, the levy will be passed.
Mr Ofori-Atta said: “Our success in entrepreneurship will support us to leverage the AfricaContinental Free Trade Area and optimise the opportunities associated with it.”
MrsKosiYankey-Ayeh, the Chief Executive Officer, GEA, said the youth were at the centre of the country’s development, and that it was necessary to put in place support systems to achieve their entrepreneurial goals.
She said the government had invested over GH₵1 million in supporting young entrepreneurs to expand their businesses and create more jobs for the masses, and urged the youth to visit their offices for supports under the YouStart initiative.