The DLP administration continues to invest heavily in developing the nation’s youth particularly by assisting them to realize their entrepreneurial potential.
The Hon Minister for Youth, Justina Charles presented a cheque of $1M to Chairperson of the Dominica Youth Business Trust, Josephine Dechausay-Titire on Wednesday, January 4.
At the handing over ceremony at the Windsor Park Stadium Conference Room, the Hon Minister said the expectation is that this cash injection will address the issue of youth unemployment.
“The youth unemployment and its impact on the development of any country has become a growing global concern. This has caused youth unemployment to be a regular feature on all agendas related to youth empowerment and youth mainstreaming. Promoting an entrepreneurial spirit and conducive environment can definitely help in addressing the unemployment concern,” she remarked.
The Dominica Youth Business Trust, established in 2004, helps young people to establish sustainable small businesses by facilitating access to financing. The trust provides collateral of up to $20,000 to young people to secure loans for small business ventures.
Not only does the trust assist with financing but provides training and mentorship to beneficiaries to strengthen their business acumen and ensure their success.
“Very often our young people are encouraged into businesses but without the ‘know how’ sometimes the businesses do not thrive and we really as a ministry would like to ensure that when we make that facility available the young people understand clearly their role in making that business sustainable. This is very important, or else our effort is going to be futile,” she said.
Of the $1M, $90,000 will go towards training; $48,000 will go towards supporting already established businesses needing assistance; $16,000 towards mentorship training and $46,000 will go towards one-on-one consultancy for the entrepreneurs. The balance of $800,000 will go towards guaranteeing loans.
Chairperson of the Dominica Youth Business Trust, Josephine Dechausay-Titre extended gratitude for the injection of funds and encouraged young people to put these resources to good use.
“This manifestation of your support is very encouraging. Please be assured that these funds will go a long way in strengthening the operations of the programmes of the trust. Our appeal is that young entrepreneurs understand that such resources are challenging to obtain and as such must put to good and honest use the benefits of these funds for yourselves and your country.”
Since 2004, DYBT has trained 663 young entrepreneurs, and there are currently 255 small businesses contributing to the economy as a result of the organization’s intervention. The current loan portfolio of the trust is $2M.
This $1M investment is made available through the Citizenship by Investment Programme.