By Kebba Jeffang
National Enterprise Development Initiative (NEDI) has organized a five-day training for 20 youth in the Lower River Region, during a business plan development clinic on November 23rd 2017.
The clinic is said to be funded by the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), a European Union funded project to curb youth irregular migration in the Gambia. This according to officials, is the first batch of 40 young entrepreneurs who will benefit from the clinic.
The General Manager of NEDI Landing B. Sanneh, said they have realized that many youths have ideas on entrepreneurship but lack the capacity to develop a business plan.
“These young people are struggling to look for support from either NEDI or partners and we thought it wise that we should introduce a practical hand on training, to help them to be able to develop bankable business plans,” he said.
He noted that the clinic is not just a training program, but that as they are trained, they are also introduced to doing it themselves practically.
“We want to move from people developing business plans for you. We want to introduce you, yourself, to take part in the process of developing your own business plan,” he said.
“Our role as stakeholders is to see how to create an enabling environment, but to also capitalize on the opportunities that is created, which lies in your hands,” said Sanneh. He said the Ministry of Youth and Sport is conscious about issues that affect young people, ranging from migration, poverty, unemployment, sexual and reproductive health and other issues.
The Chief Executive Officer of Mansakonko Area Council, Pa Ceesay, hailed NEDI for championing the course of young people in the country. He said the capacity building will also enable them to become self-reliant through entrepreneurship. “I must admit that NEDI is on course and on a very firm footing in empowering youth, since its establishment in 2004,” he said.
He challenged participants to take the opportunity and come up with winning business plans as principal output of the clinic with the help of their mentors and trainers.
Ousman Sonko, the lead trainer, said the outcome of capacity building is expected to overcome challenges.