Providing a viable option for enterprising youths
By Enid Thom
Mentor Model to Develop
The mentoring model is a youth entrepreneurship development programme adapted by the Guyana Youth Business Trust (GYBT) from the Prince’s Trust in the United Kingdom where the focus of the programme was on targeting disadvantaged youths and helping them find decent work.
The mentoring model uses an integrated approach to providing young entrepreneurs with specific kinds of support during the start-up phase of their businesses. This support combines training in business management, business support, start-up financing and business mentoring. This approach fits in with the general focus of the GYBT on maximizing the support that it provides for its clients.
Following expressions of interest in its work by several countries After several countries The Prince’s Trust established Youth Business International (YBI) in the 1990’s to assist organizations outside the United Kingdom that were interested in embracing its mentoring model. The core principles of entrepreneurial mentoring are internationally relevant and are applied in a variety of economic contexts.
In general, the programs targets unemployed and underemployed youths between the ages of 18 and 30, preferably from low income backgrounds. The youths usually bring to the programme ides for a possible business venture, which if deemed viable, results in its owner receiving modest amounts of financing to be repaid at low or no interest. Each youth is assigned a volunteer mentor, usually a local business person who serves as advisor and guide throughout the first three years of the business venture.
Guyana Youth Business Trust (GYBT) is an accredited member of YBI and is currently running the model (YBI’s mentor model) as a Project – “Mentor Model to Develop Young Entrepreneurs,” funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
To date the GYBT has funded hundreds of youth businesses many of which remain both operational and successful.
The current mentoring project is a regional initiative being executed simultaneously over a four-year period in Barbados, Belize, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana by the Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT), Youth Business Trust Belize (YBTB), Youth Business Trinidad & Tobago (YBTT) and Guyana Youth Business Trust (GYBT) respectively.
The Project comprises three components, as follows:
1. Promotion and development of Business Mentors – based on the concept of corporate social responsibility
2. Orientation, Training and Financial Support to the Young Entrepreneur Initiative
3. Development of a sustainable network through dissemination of results
Over a the four year period the project will be geared towards achieving its objective of increasing economic opportunities and generating income for young people interested in becoming entrepreneurs but who have not have not, up until now, had the opportunity to do so.
The programme seeks to realize:
● The recruitment and training of over 200 volunteer business mentors who will be assigned to young entrepreneurs
● The recruitment and training of approximately 600 youths between the ages of 18 to 35 who have a desire to start-up a viable business
Funding for at least 100 youth businesses and the consequential creation of more than create 200 new jobs
• Providing more than US$ 200,000,00 as loans for youths
• Strengthening the national and regional networks of participating entities in this program and disseminating the results and lessons of the program to a wide audience as a means of facilitating replication.
A two-month training programme is expected to commence in Guyana by mid April. That programme will target 50 young people who have the desire to become involved in a business venture as well as current entrepreneurs who are being supported by the GYBT. Participants wil receive training in a range of business-related areas including
Business Plan Development, Setting Up a Successful Business,
Book-keeping for Small Enterprise, Small Business Management,
Business Financing, Information Technology, Growth Management and the Caricom Single Market and Economy.
At the end of the training it is expected that participants would have gained the skills necessary for them to initiate and sustain viable businesses and to prepare business plans.. Further financial support and a mentor will be available to participants who prepare viable business plans and successfully complete the loan process.