YouthBiz 592 – a success for SBB

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, January 11, 2018

The YouthBiz 592 programme has been deemed one of the Small Business Bureau (SBB)’s successful initiatives for 2017.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of SBB, Lowell Porter, of the 85 youths who graduated from the programme, 72 submitted applications for grants. Of the total, 68 businesses were financed with a sum of $310,000 each.

Lowell Porter, CEO of Small Business Bureau.

He highlighted that due to the success rate of the project, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) requested a continuation of the programme in 2018. Meanwhile, Porter said in 2017 under the ‘YouthBiz 592 programme’, a total of 50 loans valued at $270M were approved to finance small businesses across the country. He added that despite distributing a total of 49 loans but not at the rate previously set out, it led to the agency only meeting 51 percent of its target goal.

The CEO expressed the confidence that the agency could have achieved its 100 percent target goal with access to loans if more commercial banks, with the exception of Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI) and Republic Bank had signed on with them.

“The bank has its criteria, but we were hoping with this programme, more banks would have been involved. Unfortunately, only two banks are involved with the only micro-financed institution – Institute for Private Enterprise Development (IPED)”, Porter said.

He believes if there were more involvement from commercial banks, the agency would have surpassed its target goal.

The YouthBiz 592 programme was designed to provide a second chance to vulnerable young people between the ages of 18-25.  These youths, who have been abused, dropped out of school or are teenage mothers benefitted from instruction courses that guided them into entrepreneurial activities.

Porter said “There are young people out there who need help, and they are willing to do what is necessary. On our end, we are trying to develop a monitoring process and be closer to them.”

 

By: Crystal Stoll

 

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