By Racquel McKenzie
Mr. Damian Young Informs aspiring entrepreneurs on how to capitalize on opportunities that are offered from the Clarendon Youth in Business Initiative.
The Clarendon Parish Council’s Local Economic Development Officer Mr. Damion Young, has urged the youth in Central Jamaica as well as its environs to engage in the initiative Clarendon Youth in Business to hone their business skills in an effort to achieve economic growth.
This initiative as described by Mr. Young which started out 2016 came out of an interest to arrest the crime issue in Clarendon and its environs as well as the need to address the challenges that youth in business face in accessing grant funding and business loans.
Photo: The Jamaica Gleaner
“We believe that this is an ideal way to improve the business environment for Clarendon’s youth and as we seek to engage a cohort of them we will be informing ourselves of the challenges being faced by youth in business and we can use this data to tailor suitable responses to youth issues especially on the economic front.”
Crime, he pointed out, is having a crippling effect on Clarendon and as such, a Small business establishment, with the potential for growth and employment, was seen as one way to enable vulnerable young people to lift them.
Young also said “Against that background, we recognized if we were going to play our role in Vision 2030 The Municipal Corporation had a moral and socio-economic opportunity and responsibility to design a programme that could impact youth in our parish. So what we set about was to design the Clarendon Youth in Business project “
In addition to that, this initiative aims in exposing youth to Business operations, provide mentorship and provide grant funding to acquire raw material.
Mr. Young also pointed out that the primary mandate for 2019 is to provide training in Finance management, Entrepreneurship, Bookkeeping as well as customer service.
Applications are now open for young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 in Clarendon to apply for $100,000 in seed capital and product development and business improvement training; Funding can be received once per year.
Additionally, applications must be submitted to the Clarendon Municipal Corporation.
Applicants must demonstrate in-depth knowledge of business in order to be given a grant. Additionally, in order to enter this program, applicants must be recommended by members of the Clarendon Municipal Corporation, The Clarendon Youth Innovation Centre as well as the PIOJ and The Social Development Commission.
The grants are being provided by the Clarendon Parish Council and its partners the Caribbean Local Economic Development Project (CARILED), Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Jamaica National Small Business Loans and HEART TRUST/NTA under the Clarendon Youth in Business Project.
The Clarendon Youth in Business is financed through as well as the Ministry of Local Government.