YouStart Programme Policy Paper Summary – Be Educated

What is YouStart?

YouStart is a programme that seeks to support young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, access to market, training and technical skills, compliance and quality assurance support and business development support services that will enable them start, build and grow their own businesses.

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This programme targets young people between the ages of 18- 40 years who have brilliant business ideas and viable businesses. YouStart seeks to support these individuals to nurture, grow and expand their businesses and create jobs in the economy.

Government through the YouStart programme intends to build an entrepreneurial nation by providing some of the key enablers that make entrepreneurship a success. These include;

  • Training and capacity building
  • Access to finance
  • Access to market, technology and procurement opportunities
  • Business development support services
  • Compliance and quality assurance support services

The programme is benchmarked against similar successful models in the world including the Small Business Administration (SBA) in the US and the British Business Bank, UK.

Through this programme, Government intends to commit about GHS10 billion over the next 3 years towards the creation of at least a million jobs in the economy. This will be achieved using part of the proceeds from the Electronic Transaction Levy (e-Levy) and other funding sources as such the World Bank, IFC, MasterCard, select PFIs and other DFIs.

Components of YouStart 

YouStart is anchored on three programmes: thus;

  1. District Entrepreneurship,
  2. Commercial and
  3. Grace in tackling the unemployment situation in Ghana.
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District Entrepreneurship Programme (DEP)

  • The District Entrepreneurship Programme (DEP) is designed to support urban and rural nascent entrepreneurs and existing micro businesses.
  • The young entrepreneurs will be provided with technical and financial support to enable them start-up and grow their businesses.
  • The following Government agencies; Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) and National Entrepreneurship Innovation Programme (NEIP) will be responsible for the successful implementation of the DEP.
  • Other partners i.e., National Youth Authority, Ghana TVET Service and Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) will support the implementing agencies roll-out components of the DEP successfully.

NABCO YouStart Initiative

NABCO will support the NABCO trainees who desire to be entrepreneurs to grow/scale-up their businesses. This programme targets start-ups with founders under the age of 40 within the following categories, university graduates, high school leavers, vocational/diploma certificate holders and other young people not explicitly defined above.

YouStart Commercial Programme

  • The Commercial Programme is designed to support medium-sized businesses with technical and financial support services in order scale up existing businesses and will be spearheaded by banks and other Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs).
  • The Government of Ghana will contribute a percentage of the programme funds to the commercial programme and the PFIs will be required to match Government’s funds based on an agreed ratio and a designed standardised product.
  • The standardised loan products (white label products) will be sold by the banks at a pre-agreed interest rate using their own internal sales mechanisms.
  • Government together with the Ghana Association of Banks (GAB) will standardise the loan product, the application process and requirements for the loan.

YouStart Grace Programme

  • The YouStart Grace programme will be spearheaded by Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) across the country.
  • This programme focuses on providing technical skills training and business development support services to individuals and businesses to enable them to become employable and to scale-up their businesses.
  • The programme targets unemployed youth especially graduates (i.e., SHS and University graduates), vulnerable and needy persons, rural entrepreneurs and micro businesses, especially women owned businesses.
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The District Entrepreneurship programme, will be implemented by two Government agencies namely the Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA) and National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP). These institutions will supported by Ghana TVET Service, NYA and NABCO Secretariat.

The Ghana Association of Banks (GAB) will also Coordinate the Commercial Programme. To ensure proper governance around the programme, there will be a 10-member InterMinisterial Committee, chaired by the Minister for Finance. Members of the Inter-Ministerial

Committee include Minister for Trade and Industry, Minister for Youth and Sports, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Minister for Information, Minister for Food and Agriculture, Minister of Tourism, Culture & Creative Arts, Minister for Communication and Digitalisation, Minister for Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development and Director General for the National Development Planning Commission.

YouStart Management

There is a 13-member YouStart Steering Committee chaired by the Deputy Minister for Finance. Other members of the steering committee include the institutional heads of the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), National Entrepreneurship Innovation Programme (NEIP), Ghana Association of Banks (GAB), National Youth Authority, Ghana TVET Service, NABCO secretariat and a representative of the Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs).

The Internal Audit function of the Ministry for Finance will perform audit and assurance roles for the programme.

YouStart is expected to alleviate the unemployment situation in Ghana and promote entrepreneurship in Ghana. It is estimated that, YouStart will create about 1 million jobs over the next three years and expand businesses to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

Composition of the YouStart Secretariat

The YouStart Secretariat will be hosted at the Ministry of Finance, Financial Sector Division and headed by the Director, FSD. The staff of the secretariat shall comprise officers from the Ministry of Finance and will consist of the following key personnel:

  • An Independent Head
  • Chief Economics Officer or Analogous Grade – Head of Coordination
  • Principal Economics Officer or Analogous Grade – Head of Technical Support Service
  • Technical Officers, Advisors and Consultants as needed
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YouStart, being part of the broader Ghana Cares ObaatanPa programme, will have its Secretariat working closely with the GhanaCares Secretariat.

The Internal Audit function of the Ministry for Finance will perform audit and assurance roles
for the programme.

YouStart Channel of Communication 

For the YouStart programme to be successful, there is the need to deploy a marketing and communication strategy. Since this programme is a government initiative, the ministry will collaborate with other Government ministries, agencies and PFIs to provide, manage and maintain the media presence required to get the needed attention in the social space.

Download the full YouStart policy paper here

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