Funding for youth businesses inadequate – Youth Director

first_imgDirector of Youth Melissa CarmichaelThe Director of Youth, Melissa Carmichael, said the Youth Department has taken note of the current unavailability of funds to develop youth businesses and will be looking to implement an entrepreneurial framework to better help them kick-start their businesses.Carmichael made this statement during a recent press conference where she said, “The Department of Youth recognises again that issue. Coming out of a conference I attended sometime in 2018, I would have come back and spoke to a couple of recommendations and one of them is to look at the implementation of an entrepreneurial framework which will speak to all the regulatory framework regarding financing and young people”.Young people in the past have complained about the Government’s unbothered attitude towards adequately financing their businesses, as other lending agencies such as banks require a large number of paperwork before they issue funding.In fact, the recent disclosure that just about 40 per cent of Guyanese youths are unemployed has raised even more concerns as to what the Government has done or is doing to remedy the disturbing situation.According to the Department of Youth, the agency has been trying hard to finance some business ideas and projects through the Youth Innovation Programme Of Guyana (YIPOG).According to her, “The Department of Youth has on board a Youth Innovation Programme which has been given $70 million this year, $70 (million) last year and $50 million in the year before to look at development for young people, their proposals and so on and the reason this was brought on board is because we recognise that there aren’t the necessary frameworks with regards to the financing (or) easy access to the banks and so on”.“We will continue to advocate where we can at our Minister’s level and at other levels for a framework to be put in place to have young people be able to access those lending agencies as well as the registering companies and so on easily,” she added.Although seeking to implement a need “framework” at the behest of youths, the Youth Department is yet to fully implement the National Youth Policy which was approved in the National Assembly since 2016, to outline the vision of the Government for the youths of the country.The National Youth Policy is premised on improving the social, emotional and cultural skills of young people, producing a productive and enterprising youth workforce, developing quality education and market-oriented skills, encouraging leadership, participation and representation and promoting good health, security and safety.The policy caters for development of a National Youth Empowerment Action Plan which will include comprehensive and strategic programmes and projects being implemented.It also identifies the vision and the five key objectives that are further sub-divided into several priority areas for youth development. It further suggests policy imperatives that should be implemented in each of these identified priority areas.Last July, former President of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Deodat Indar, called for better provisions to be put in place for persons wishing to expand or develop local businesses.According to Indar, in most cases, persons wishing to develop a business are left with no other option but “to borrow: we (may) have some savings, some family member lends us some money, or pool the money into it, or we go to the bank for a loan.”He stressed that when persons go to the bank for a loan, there is a collateral requirement which, in many instances, serves as an impediment.“When we go to the bank for a loan, regardless of which institution in Guyana, there is some form of collateral requirement which is the impediment. It is a grave impediment that makes small business (unable to) grow, and we have to address that. We have to approach the appraisal system of banks (to determine) if it needs modification so that small businesses can get money,” Indar noted.He expressed dissatisfaction that when businesses, especially small businesses, are allotted money, they are often pressured to repay those loans instantly, thereby stifling their chance at economic growth.last_img read more

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