President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is set to roll out a programme with portion from the proceeds of the Electronic Transfer Levy also known as E-levy to cut down unemployment rate in the country.
The flagship youth job creation programme, YouStart will be implemented by the Ghana Enterprises Agency (“GEA”) through the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (“NEIP”), and partner financial institutions with GH¢10 billion for the next three years.
YouStart is expected to be a vehicle for young entrepreneurs to access capital, training, technical skills, and mentoring to launch and operate their businesses.
Deputy Finance Minister, John Ampontuah Kumah who disclosed this said he was optimistic that Ghanaians will soon realise the benefits of the e-levy through the introduction of the business support module for the private sector.
In an interview with TV3’s on Saturday May 14, the Ejisu lawmaker said “First of all, government is grateful that the e-levy has been passed and successfully implemented. The next big move is for government to address the lack of job situation for the young people. And so, in the next month ahead, His Excellency the president will launch the YouStart programme.
“The YouStart programme is a GHC10-billion facility in the next three years that government is aiming at creating One million jobs in the private sector by encouraging young people in the areas of creativity, innovations and helping them to determine their own future.”
YouStart will specifically support youth-led enterprises with packages including Soft loans of up to GH¢50,000; Starter packs of up to GH¢50,000 for individuals and GH¢100,000 for associations and groups; and a standardized loan package of between GH¢100,000 to GH¢400,000 at concessional rates for SMEs from financial institutions.
It will also provide skills development, entrepreneurial support, business advisory services, access to competitive credit and starter packs. It will create access to markets for businesses, including portals to facilitate ‘digital linkages’ between youth-led enterprises and other businesses and relevant governmental agencies.
A website will be launched in April to receive applications from potential beneficiaries. Applicants can also pick up an application form from the offices of the GEA, NEIP, and any of the partner financial services.
The e-levy started Sunday May 1 after it was passed into law by Parliament and assented to by President Akufo-Addo.
By Vincent Kubi