Final YEP sessions on today

Published: Friday | July 24, 2009

The Manchester leg of the Young Entrepreneurs Programme's (YEP) orientation sessions has been rescheduled for today.

The sessions will be held at the HEART Vocational Training Development Institute (VTDI) campus, Grove Road, Mandeville, and Holmwood Technical High School, Christiana. Both sessions will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Originally slated for July 8, the sessions had to be cancelled due to the ban on public gatherings in Manchester, resulting from the spread of the influenza A (H1N1) virus.

Coordinator of YEP, Pauline Nelson, said the sessions were geared at getting the students out to tell them about the programme, and to motivate them so they can see self-employment as an option.

"It is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I would encourage all school leavers in Manchester with an interest in self-employment to attend the sessions," Nelson urged.

She noted that the Manchester sessions would be the last of the 24 sessions held islandwide. Approximately 1,000 school leavers have so far been interested in establishing an interest to participate in the programme.

"Following the orientation sessions, the school leavers will be invited to participate in a three-day workshop, where they will be taught how to manage a small business and to develop business plans which they will then take to the micro-finance institutions to access loans. The successful candidates will also be exposed to post-support services to include coaching and mentorship," Nelson pointed out.

Self-employment opportunities

The Young Entrepreneurs Programme is a pilot project geared at providing self-employment opportunities for 2009 graduates of high schools and tertiary institutions.

The programme, first announced by Prime Minister Bruce Golding in his budget speech, has been funded with $200 million and is managed by the Development Bank of Jamaica. Funds will be on-lent through micro-finance institutions to borrowers at a rate of 10 per cent for the life of the loan.