Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, has expressed the intention of her outfit to sensitize and work with youth associations and groups in districts across the country to help businesses access the YouStart funding.
According to her, accessing funding for businesses under the initiative shouldn’t be regarded as “high-level” and “unattainable” by the youth. Mrs Yankey-Ayeh explained that a lot of the sensitization will be predicate on conscientizing the youth to start thinking about entrepreneurship and businesses which employs people.
She underscored that the agency along with other implementing partners of the initiative have the requisite support needed to help businesses who show interest in applying for fund.
“Once we go live, there will be a technology platform where they can go onto. If they can’t access it, there’ll be opportunity to get resources and build on it. So, we are going to sensitize and work with the youth associations and youth groups as well, go down to the level of them so that it’s accessible at the district level to the people within the districts and communities”.Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh
Implementation of YouStart initiative
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh indicated that the Agency will provide comprehensive support to businesses under the YouStart initiative in areas of mentorships, businesses advice and access to finance with consistent checks on the progress being made by these MSMEs. She emphasized that her outfit will take the initiative to the “doorsteps” of potential beneficiaries and not restrict it to the Greater Accra Region.
“We are going to utilize our systems. We’ve already reached out to some of the assemblies to give our support to come in and set up shop in the districts where we don’t have offices. So, we have 190 plus offices across the nation and these offices are accessible to anyone and they can walk in, get the needed support that they want, get the needed information and build on it”.Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh
Commenting on the mandate of the GEA, Mrs Yankey-Ayeh revealed that it was specifically set up to really implement the “Ghana National MSME policy” and entrepreneurship policy. The idea behind that, she expounded, is to build a strong entrepreneurial economy, to figure out how to help MSMEs to grow and be sustainable.
Being one of the implementing partners of the initiative, the GEA boss intimated that the work that her outfit seeks to do and what YouStart has done is that government has designed a budget which states that it’s going to support a “sustainable entrepreneurial” nation. Mrs Yankey-Ayeh intimated that GEA has been intentional in how the roll out for the YouStart will be.
“What YouStart wants to do is to actually make sure those businesses are running; those businesses are strong. If you have an idea [and] you don’t know how to take it forward, we come in and provide you with the needed support to move it forward”.Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh
The finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in the budget reading indicated that the initiative will be rolled out in March 2022. However, Mrs Yankey-Ayeh revealed that there’s a possibility it will be piloted before then if the opportunity comes up.