Youth Graduate from Successful Entrepreneurship Program in Guyana
Responding to the Government of Guyana’s request to support a youth entrepreneurship training program as part of the country’s Citizen Security Strategy, YBI signed a technical cooperation agreement with Guyana’s Ministry of Public Security (MoPS) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to design a comprehensive and integrated program for at-risk youth. On June 7, 2017, 85 students in Guyana officially graduated from this pilot program, also known as YouthBiz 592. Following an intensive 3 months of training in entrepreneurship; leadership, life skills, and community service; healthy relationships; and work readiness skills, the graduates developed self-esteem and confidence as well as technical and leadership skills that will position them for productive livelihoods in the future.
The program was implemented jointly by Guyana’s Ministry of Business, Small Business Bureau (SBB), and the Ministry of Education, Department of Culture, Youth, and Sports (DCYS). The graduates from the program will also receive follow up support from the SBB, as many of them launch their self-designed micro-enterprises, or seek employment in Guyana’s formal sector over the coming months.
Other key accomplishments of the YouthBiz pilot program include the following:
- 86 young people enrolled in the program – and 85 students completed the program (retention rate of 99%)
- 84 of the 86 YouthBiz students completed business plans, with ideas ranging from auto repair, block making, child care, clothing design, computer repair, electrical installation, furniture making, groceries, hair salons, landscaping, printing, logos and design, photography, poultry businesses, renting play equipment, and vegetable vendors – and 72 students received small grants to start their small businesses
- The YouthBiz program served an additional 72 family members and community residents by offering and facilitating workshops on gender-based violence in Canje/Angoy’s Avenue and on substance abuse prevention in Sophia/Turkeyen
- The YouthBiz students completed eight service projects that engaged over 100 additional youth beneficiaries, including conducting a substance abuse prevention campaign, beautifying the community center in Sophia/Turkeyen, and spending time providing comfort, company, and conversation with elders at a senior care center in Canje/Angoy’s Avenue