Government is upbeat about the success of the ‘YouStart Programme’ as local banks commit ¢5 billion from their Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) portfolio to support young entrepreneurs over the next three years.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta, says this will be the game changer for Ghana’s entrepreneurial drive.

According to him, this package couldn’t have come at a better time, as government prepares to receive the delegation from the International Monetary Fund into the country to begin negotiation for an economic programme.

Speaking to Joy Business at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with participating financial institutions for the YouStart Commercial Component, Mr. Ofori Atta said the agreement with the banks, will go a long way to support entrepreneurs gain access to capital to enhance their businesses.

Government upbeat about 'YouStart Programme'; banks commit ¢5bn to programme

“We need to create the opportunities in which people can be trained as entrepreneurs; and they also hire other people to grow. I mean if you look at the population statistics of almost 37% of our people being between 15 and 35, it creates a lot of pressure. And I think it is incumbent on us to create the financial system with training and reward system that encourages entrepreneurship to take risks”.

The Minister also stated that the partnership with the banks is key to the sustainability of developing the entrepreneurship eco-system.

“The Banks have committed about ¢5 billion over three years to be deployed to SME’s and that’s what we going to work with for it to happen. And so that will create excitement, especially, in this period that we are also having an arrangement with the IMF. So that we move beyond dependence on government and donors into our own creative energies”.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Bankers Association, John Awuah, who spoke on behalf of the banks, pledged their commitment to assist entrepreneurs with substantial capital to develop and grow the SME sector.

“As a nation, we will have recognised that we need to build our own if the impact of Covid-19 taught us any lesson at all. It means that we need to have a homegrown economy, an economy owned and managed by Ghanaians.”

“So this signing ceremony is about attestation that the public and the private sector can work together to create the value and entrepreneurship country that we have all been yearning for”, he stressed.

“As a community of banks, we helped the Ministry of Finance to design a product that we believe will help propel businesses forward particularly younger and smaller businesses to move them to the next level. I think is positive development. We only have to make sure that what we have put on paper when it comes to the execution we all come to the table in the manner in which the agreement had been signed”, he added.

Meanwhile, government is expected to officially launch the YouStart programe in November 2022.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.