Minister of Finance Winston Jordan during his budget presentation today revealed that the Government has budgeted $1.7 billion to continue various youth initiatives, in 2019.
“The Youth Innovation Project of Guyana, which is aimed at fostering a green economy, is in receipt of 271 proposals for project implementation, of which 30 have qualified to receive funding totaling $45 million. The Guyana Youth Business Summit has approved 11 out of 255 proposals for funding in excess of $9.3 million. Mr. Speaker, in 2018, training focused on facilitating self-employment in many of the projects, namely: the Youth Entrepreneurial Skills Training, which had three components, (i) the Kuru Kuru Training Centre, (ii) the Sophia Training Centre and (iii) the Vrymans Erven Training Centre which together, received a budget of $192 million”, he explained.
He said training was also extended, via the Hinterland Employment and Youth Scheme (HEYS), to 1,965 persons in the ten administrative regions and over 1,300 businesses have been established, as a result of this Scheme.
The Minister said he would like to encourage youth groups, cooperatives and job-seeking individuals to take advantage of the many schemes, programmes and funding opportunities that are available for youths to be their own boss, “including the Sustainable Livelihood and Entrepreneurial Development programme, which is under the remit of the Ministry of Social Protection, and which has been allocated $250 million in this Budget and the Small Business Development Fund, which is under the Ministry of Business, and which has been allocated another $100 million”.
He said those two sets of funds will be made available in grants or mostly grants.
Additionally, another facility for financing small businesses for youths is the Linden Enterprise Network and that has been allocated $218 million in the 2019 budget.
“This allows access to resources for housing, manufacturing, construction and other enterprises”, Jordan said.