ASSISTANCE FOR YOUNG BUSINESS PERSONS IN ANGUILLA

anguillian
By anguillian March 21, 2014 10:22

 

 

Mrs. Hyacinth Bradley (left) and Mr John Roach with Educators

Mrs. Hyacinth Bradley (left) and Mr John Roach with Educators

There is an opportunity for aspiring young business entrepreneurs in Anguilla to get assistance, including seed money, to finance their enterprises. This is welcome news coming at a time when there has been much emphasis on the importance of this week’s Careers Fair. The coming initiative is one of the Department of Youth and Culture with the blessing of the Ministry.

Mrs Hyacinth Bradley, the Department’s Senior Programme Officer, spoke to The Anguillian about the initiative and the assistance of a consultant, Mr John Roach, who is now in Anguilla, as well as another person who will be arriving later on.

“We are currently working on the establishment of a National Youth Entrepreneurial Skill for Anguilla and, as a consultant, we have Mr John Roach, the Chief Youth Development Officer of the Commonwealth of Dominica,” Mrs Bradley said. “He will be here initially for two weeks, and will be meeting with a number of stakeholders – government personnel, financial institutions and young persons. The end goal is to help design a model for youth entrepreneurship that is suitable for the Anguillian context.

“Our model, which we will be calling Get Set (Get smaller entrepreneurial training – that’s the initial name) will target persons between the ages of 16-35. The aim is to assist young persons in developing business plans, support those with business ideas but need more grounded support. Of key importance is providing mentorship for young entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, and providing them with seed funding to develop their small business.”

The Consultant, Mr John Roach, commented: “As you know, there are issues of unemployment particularly among the young people. It is not unique to Anguilla and we find that because of the increasing unemployment, there is an increase in crime and other deviant behaviour. What we are doing is to set up a programme that will help to counteract the whole issue of unemployment and deviant behaviour among young people.”

Asked how the initiative will be approached, Mr Roach explained: “We are looking at several models that have been implemented around the world, particularly under the Commonwealth Youth Credit Initiative model. In each country the circumstances would be different and therefore we are looking at a model that would be very unique to Anguilla and that will make the facility accessible to young people.

“We are looking at a three-fold model – a model that would include training in small business development; a model in mentoring; and a model for capital for the young people. One of the most of the challenges that young people face is that of lack of collateral – financial security in order to obtain a loan from a financial institution. There is also the notion that there is risk in terms of going into business with young people and that they are not responsible, not bankable. It is therefore going to be a programme to dispel that notion and engage a cross-section of sectors in Anguilla. The Government is on board; we are looking at development agencies, financial institutions and the Anguilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry. These are going to be key players, and the young people themselves have to be on board. We will also be looking at models that have been attempted in Anguilla but didn’t work, and we will try to find out exactly what went wrong and avoid re-inventing the wheel.”

The Department of Youth and Culture is hoping to launch the programme in June, and it is envisaged that it would be possible for the various mechanisms to be put into place for that time.

Meanwhile, Mrs Bradley disclosed that another consultant, Mr Brandon DeFoe, will also be visiting Anguilla as part of the consultancy support for the establishment of the Youth Entrepreneurial Skill Programme. “Their focus will be on existing and aspiring entrepreneurs,” she added. “We are also going to train a cadre of people in Anguilla to support these young entrepreneurs in developing and sustaining small businesses.”

anguillian
By anguillian March 21, 2014 10:22

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