On Tuesday 20th September 2022, the government of Ghana signed a Memorandum of Understanding with eleven (11) banks for the YouStart commercial component, to help business visionaries get close enough to funding to grow their businesses.
The YouStart program introduced by Ghana Government is supposed to create 1,000,000 jobs for the Ghanaian youth in the next three years, and has three models:
- The Commercial Programme
- District Entrepreneurship Programme
- YouStart Grace Programme.
Ghana’s Minister for Finance, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta in his speech said, this commercial program would offer a normalized credit product somewhere in the range of GHS100,000 and GHS500,000.00 from Partaking Financial Institutions (PFIs) to cover working capital necessities, business extension needs and the acquisition of equipment or machinery by beneficiaries.
He further added,
“Never in our history has there been a commitment of this size and scale toward strengthening the links between education and job market stakeholders, providing access to finance, skills, and markets for our young entrepreneurs and growing the capacity of the private sector to create jobs.”
Mr. Ofori-Atta alluded to the immense role of the PFIs and disclosed that Government could not “move forward” without their support and revealed his administration’s desire for more of such partnerships from both the public and private sectors to ensure the creation of a culture and mindset that could leave the young generation unafraid to challenge themselves.
“Indeed, the expected consequence would be the realization of a WISER (Wealthy, Inclusive, Sustainable, Empowered, and Resilient) society, with our young people more confident about their place in the World”, the Finance Minister disclosed.
The financial institutions that signed the MoU with Government were 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 a witness.
The CEO of the Ghana Association of Banks, Mr. John Awuah vowed their obligation to help entrepreneurs with substantial capital to develop and grow the SME sector.
He added that, the signing of the agreement with Government was a further proof that the private and public sectors could collaborate to the create value and entrepreneurship country that the country has been longing for.
“As a community of banks, we helped the Ministry of Finance to design a product that we believe will help propel businesses forward particularly younger and smaller businesses to move them to the next level. It is a positive development. We only must ensure that when it comes to the execution, we all come to the table in the manner in which the agreement had been signed,” he added.
At the ceremony were the two Deputy Ministers for Finance, Hon. John Ampontuah Kumah, and Hon. Abena Osei-Asare, Ms. Stella Williams, a Coordinating Director at the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Sampson Akligoh, Director Financial Sector Division at the Ministry of Finance, Officials of the Ministry of Finance, Representatives of the PFIs and the Media.