The YouStart commercial component is to offer a standardized loan product ranging from GHS100,000 to GHS500,000.00 from 11 Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs), to help entrepreneurs gain access to capital to grow their businesses.
The commercial programme will cover beneficiaries’ working capital needs, business expansion needs and the purchase of equipment or machinery.
Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Finance, stated at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the 11 Participating Financial Institutions for the YouStart commercial component that the government’s YouStart programme is expected to create a million jobs for the Ghanaian youth over the next three years.
He said YouStart has three models: the Commercial Programme, the District Entrepreneurship Programme, and the YouStart Grace Programme.
“Never in our history has there been a commitment of this size and scale toward strengthening the links between education and job market stakeholders, providing access to finance, skills, and markets for our young entrepreneurs and, growing the capacity of the private sector to create jobs,’’ he added.
Mr Ofori-Atta alluded to the PFIs’ significant role, stating that the government could not “move forward” without their assistance, and expressed the ministry’s desire for more such partnerships from both the public and private sectors to ensure a culture creation and mindset that would leave the young generation unafraid to challenge themselves.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Association of Banks, Mr John Awuah, speaking on behalf of the banks, pledged their commitment to assist entrepreneurs with substantial capital to develop and grow the SME sector.
He added that the signing of the agreement with the government was further proof that the private and public sectors could work together to create the value and entrepreneurship that the country has been longing for.
“As a community of banks, we helped the Ministry of Finance to design a product that we believe will help propel businesses forward particularly younger and smaller businesses to move them to the next level. I think is a positive development. We only have to make sure that what we have put on paper when it comes to the execution, we all come to the table in the manner in which the agreement had been signed,’’ he added.