The hopes of the youths are being kept alive as government continues to give support in empowering them to become entrepreneurs.
Over EC$400, 000 has been expended on the Grenadian youth during the period September 2011 to September 2012 by the Government of Grenada to develop small businesses of their own.
Through the Grenada Youth Enterprise Initiative (GYEI) Small Business Fund, administered by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment and Sports, 23 loans were disbursed ranging from EC$1,000 to EC$25,000.
The recipients included 15 males and 8 females, with most of the beneficiaries coming from the parishes of St. George’s, St. Andrew, St. David, St. John and St. Patrick.
The loans were used to fund the development of grocery shops, import and export services, graphic design businesses, garment production, water taxi services, restaurants, hair and cosmetics businesses, etc.
Youths from the other parishes are encouraged to come up with viable business ideas in other to receive the necessary training to develop their business plans.
Under the GYEI programme, with the support of other partners, persons from age 18 to 35 who have expressed an interest in developing their own businesses are trained in business management, from which they would develop business plans.
The plans are assessed and reviewed for possible funding, with the support of the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, the GDB and the Grenada Industrial Development Corporation.
To date the Ministry of Youth has reported that all the recipients’ loans are up to date, “there is an almost no delinquency payment rate,” the Ministry said.
There has been one instance when the Ministry became concerned about the payment rate of one of the recipients who had delayed payments. They were called in and arrangements were made to get their payments up to date. The recipients are now on course with their payments.
Prior GYEI disbursements under the former administration totaled 38 loans in the amount of EC$309,178.38. Out of 38 loans disbursed, only 13 were paid off in full. The remaining businesses are no longer in operation.
In some instances, records have shown that no contracts are on file for some of the recipients, while some have been reported out of the island and some unreachable.
Records also show that some of the beneficiaries have stopped making payments since 2008.
Persons who may have met in difficulties in paying their loan for some reason or another can come into the Ministry of Youth to make arrangements to pay their loans.
There are currently 27 young entrepreneurs awaiting loans approval which will be totaled in the EC$400,000 range and according to officials from the Ministry of Youth Empowerment and Sports, it is their hope that these enterprising young people can be accommodated in the quickest possible time.
More than 20 young entrepreneurs have been given the opportunity to start and develop their own businesses…. So can you!
(The above was submitted by the GOVERNMENT OF GRENADA COMMUNICATIONS UNIT in the Prime Minister’s Office)