US$415,000 CDB loan approved for youth entrepreneur scheme

Stabroek News
December 19, 1999

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has approved a US$415,000 loan to facilitate the development of a National Youth Entrepreneur Programme to be co-ordinated by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport.

This disclosure was made by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Gail Teixeira, at the graduation ceremony of Guyana National Service (GNS) students who had undergone six months of technical and vocational training.

According to Teixeira, delivering the feature address, the money is expected to be spent on equipping young people of the country with the necessary skills to develop small businesses, thus giving them a start in life.

The minister remarked to the 35 graduands that many of the big enterprises that are evident now were started on a small scale, many of those businessmen were "self-made men".

Teixeira added that her ministry was working with the GNS to develop and expand the process of non-residential technical and vocational training to other parts of the country. She expressed delight that the service was undertaking to monitor the graduates to see how they utilise the skills that they had acquired.

The minister lauded the youths whom she said had equipped themselves with skills for life and added that youth empowerment could allow them to become productive citizens. She urged that they cast their vision to the sky and not the tops of trees.

Earlier the service's Director General Leroy Benn in introducing the minister had stated that the GNS while having an important role to play locally, was undergoing reform to allow it to better cater for the needs of youths.

Staff Training Officer Lieutenant Raymond Cummings in his course brief disclosed that the programme was run single-handedly by the GNS following sponsorship by the Social Impact Amelioration Programme in the two previous years.

Following the minister's address there was the distribution of certificates and prizes to those who excelled in the various disciplines.

Courses offered covered three areas--Catering, Office Practice and Information Technology and Refrigeration Repairs and Maintenance. Youths attending were from the Sophia/Campbellville area who had special circumstances.

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