Grant scheme for Gambian young entrepreneurs launched

20 December 2017
ITC News

ITC’s Youth Empowerment Project teams up with the National Association of Co-Operative Credit Unions of The Gambia to boost financing for young entrepreneurs.

The International Trade Centre (ITC) has joined forces with the National Association of Co-Operative Credit Unions of The Gambia (NACCUG) to boost financing support for young grassroots entrepreneurs. The mini grant scheme, which will form part of the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), was announced on 16 December by Dawda Fadera, the Secretary-General and Head of Civil Service of the Gambian government on behalf of President Adama Barrow.

Commenting on the new grant scheme, Raimund Moser, ITC’s project manager for the Youth Empowerment Project, said: ‘YEP has already trained close to 1,000 youths, supported 200 young entrepreneurs and is working with more than 20 implementing partners. The mini grant scheme will complement the training efforts with much-needed financial support to young entrepreneurs and help get their businesses up and running.’

Baboucarr Jeng, General Manager of NACCUG, the institution responsible for managing the scheme, explained that the total financial volume available would be $250,000, equivalent to 12 million Gambian dalasi. ‘The scheme will provide a minimum of 250 mini-grants to youths. What matters most is not the amount of money disbursed, but the impact we create for youth,’ he said.

The scheme will make available grants for Gambian young entrepreneurs with a solid business plan. To help nurture entrepreneurship, the mini-grant scheme will facilitate the acquisition of equipment, materials, licenses and other assets for start-ups or small-scale enterprises.

From 2 January 2018 NACCUG will accept applications from interested young entrepreneurs and grant recipients will be selected based on their proposed business plans. In addition to grant, provided up to 47,000 Gambian dalasi, grantees will receive coaching and financial training. Grant recipients will also participate in annual events to communicate results, share success stories and best practices of the mini grant scheme.

About the Youth Empowerment Project

The Gambia Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) is a four-year project that aims to supporting youth employment and entrepreneurship in the country to address the economic root causes of irregular migration. It is funded by the European Union (EU) Emergency Trust Fund for Africa with a total budget of €11 million. By improving the employability of youth, especially potential and returning migrants, increasing income opportunities along value chains and helping young entrepreneurs to connect to trade and tap into the digital economy, this project aims to change the current migration trends and contribute to building the long-term growth and economic competitiveness of The Gambia.

The European Union’s Emergency Trust Fund for Africa

The European Union’s Emergency Trust Fund for Africa addresses the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa. More specifically, it helps address the root causes of destabilization, forced displacement and irregular migration by promoting economic and equal opportunities, strengthening security, development and resilience of vulnerable people.