The Commercial Program, District Entrepreneurship Program, and YouStart Grace Program are the three models for the YouStart program, which was presented by the government and is anticipated to generate one million jobs for young people in Ghana over the course of the next three years.
On Tuesday, September 20, 2022, in Accra, the government and eleven banks have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the YouStart Commercial Component, which will help entrepreneurs have access to cash to grow their firms.
GCB Bank Plc, ABSA Bank Ghana Limited, ARB Apex Bank, Access Bank (Ghana) PIc, Ecobank Ghana PIc, FBNBANK Ghana Ltd, Fidelity Bank Ghana Ltd, Universal Merchant Bank, Consolidated Bank Ghana Ltd, CalBank PIc, OmniBSIC Bank Ghana Limited, and the Ghana Association of Banks signed as witnesses were the financial institutions that signed the MoU with the government.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Association of Banks, Mr. John Awuah, spoke on behalf of the banks and reaffirmed their commitment to providing entrepreneurs with significant financing in order for them to expand and strengthen the SME sector.
The agreement being signed with the government, he continued, was another evidence that the public and private sectors could work together to build the value and entrepreneurial nation that the nation has long yearned for. “As a group of banks, we worked with the Ministry of Finance to build a product that we think will help businesses, especially newer and smaller ones, advance and reach the next level. It is a development that is good.
In his speech, the Minister of Finance, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, stated that the commercial program would provide beneficiaries with a standard loan product from Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) ranging from GHS100,000.00 to GHS500,000.00 to cover working capital needs, needs for business expansion, and the purchase of equipment or machinery.
The YouStart initiative is a means by which the government plans to give money and technical assistance to young people (18 to 40 years old) and youth-led businesses to help them launch, develop, and expand their own businesses. The YouStart program is a component of the GHS100 billion Ghana Cares “ObaatanPa” program, which was introduced by the government in November 2020 to lessen the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, put the nation back on a path of sustained, robust growth, and build a stronger, more resilient, and transformed economy.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) in the United States and the British Business Bank in the United Kingdom are two examples of similar successful models against which the program is compared.
Through this program, the government plans to invest over GHS 10 billion over the following three years in the economy, with the goal of generating at least a million employment. The Electronic Transaction Levy (e-Levy) profits and other financing sources, including the World Bank, IFC, MasterCard, specific PFIs, and other DFIs, will be used in part to do this.