The Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA) supported 16 entrepreneurs and three business associations with ¢880,000.
The funds are intended to support the working capital needs of the beneficiaries and/or purchase equipment for business expansion.
GEA carried out site visits of each beneficiary within the pilot phase to verify their existence and details as indicated in their application.
Through the on-site visits, the agency confirmed the amount requested by the applicants and verified the presented expenditure items.
The Government of Ghana’s YouStart program was successfully piloted from 14 to 18 February 2022 for 85 young entrepreneurs across Ghana.
The pilot started with a 5-day training program for selected beneficiaries at the Crystal Rose Ambassador Hotel in Kumasi. Participants were then invited to pitch their business ideas to a panel of government delegates.
The YouStart pilot provided the Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA) and the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (NEIP) with the opportunity to train and evaluate participants’ business ideas, as well as test the systems and procedures to be implemented, before the official YouStart launch in August 2022
Limiting youth unemployment
The YouStart program is the government’s flagship policy to reduce youth unemployment. According to the Ghana Statistics Office, 11.5 million people are considered economically active.
Of these, 1.5 million people are unemployed. The unemployment rate among the population aged 15 and over is estimated at 13.4%.
According to Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, the government plans to anchor Ghana’s post-COVID-19 recovery on the renewed hope and dynamism of the youth.
The consequence of this will be the realization of a SMARTER (wealthy, inclusive, resilient, empowered and resilient) society with young people more confident about their place in the world.