Youth in Business initiative praised at launch
An official agreement was signed last Wednesday by investment partners HEART Trust/NTA and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) through their Community Renewal Programme for the second phase of the Youth In Business (YIB) initiative.
Twenty youths will be benefitting from grants of $100,000 each, and will also be afforded the opportunity to receive three months of entrepreneurial training.
In sanctioning the programme, CEO of the corporation Rowhan Blake said that it was a means to "strengthen the vision face of young entrepreneurs across Clarendon".
Added Blake: "It is no secret that young people who desire to operate a business struggle to access funds as a result of bureaucracies for securing grants or start-up loans for small businesses."
Dr Winston Dawes of the Clarendon Chamber of Commerce urged the young entrepreneurs to keep trying no matter what.
"When you start finding problems, don't give up. If you give up, then all is lost. If you keep trying, one day you will succeed," he said, telling them it was the key to success in any business.
Guest speaker Dr Wayne Henry, director general of the PIOJ, in sanctioning the strengths of the programme, said that it would be supporting the country's growth agenda and would also be one of the methods for bringing crime under control.
Elaborating on Youth In Business, he said that residents in communities that are socially excluded from mainstream society will definitely benefit.
Highlighting the vulnerability of youth in those communities due to the absence of adequate opportunities for personal and professional development, he said that it limits their ability to create sustainable livelihoods.
"As a society, we have been wrestling with various ideas and interventions that we believe could have a positive impact on the nature of these communities. In this regard, this programme (YIB) offers a viable alternative that can be utilised as a means to a sustainable income," he told the gathering of stakeholders.
Henry also used the opportunity to urge agencies to work with each other and not carry out programmes independently of each other, as he sees this as a waste of valuable resources.
"Many agencies operate in the same space, and this often results in the duplication of efforts and the sub-optimisation of resources. It also results in poor targeting, as inadequate consultation fails to yield vital information that could positively impact the choice of interventions," he said.