Mon | Nov 19, 2018

Clarendon Municipal Corporation to launch Youth In Business on Wednesday

Published:Sunday | January 28, 2018 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston

Local Economic Development Officer at the Clarendon Municipal Corporation Damion Young is expecting big gains from the second annual Youth in Business (YIB) Grant award to take place on Wednesday at the corporation's offices.

According to Young, this will be taking place at a time when the crime situation in Clarendon is really out of control, with other social ills plaguing the parish, including high unemployment among youth.

With Clarendon seeming to be a breeding ground for gangs, Young said that this initiative is a welcome one and one which he hopes will put a dent in the crime affecting the parish.

Young said that not only would this move help to resolve social ills on a micro level, but it would also aid in advancing Vision 2030 and help to make Clarendon a parish in which persons can live comfortably, work, raise families, and do business.

"The Government of Jamaica has embarked on the ambitious plan to grow the economy by five per cent in four years, and as the local authority, we have to chart the way for young people to be a part of that vision," said Young.

He added that YIB was conceptualised as a result of the need to train young people in basic business principles and practices such as marketing, how to manage their finances, presentations, and proper record keeping.

"Essentially, the YIB seeks to bridge the gaps and provide funding at the end of their training to offset costs associated with their business," he added.

This year's project is being launched in partnership with the HEART/TRUST NTA and the Planning Institute of Jamaica through its Community Renewal Programme (CRP) arm, which has been engaged in a large volume of work in Clarendon.

The CRP has targeted the communities of Effortville, Bucknor, York Town, Hayes, and Rocky Point, which are labelled as crime hot spots, and going after the youth is seen as one way of solving some of the issues the parish is facing, especially within these communities.

Young shared that the initiative would be targeting young people in the 18 to 35 age group who have expressed interest in entrepreneurial activities of their own but are facing challenges in accessing the money for these ventures.

"They should have been doing business for at least three months and are able to demonstrate that they are actually engaged in it, as well as fill out the application form and submit to the corporation," he said about the steps to be considered for the grant, which will amount to $100,000.

Last year, 18 businesses benefited from the YIB project when it was first launched, with 17 still operational and doing well.

cecelia.campbell-livingston@gleanerjm.com