November 20, 2009
Youth Business Trust set up in SVG

A new not-for-profit entity has been established to provide support to young people aged 18- 35 through a system of mentorship and loan financing for business start-up, expansion and/or diversification.{{more}}

The St. Vincent and the Grenadines Youth Business Trust (SVGYBT) aims to assist young people who have bankable business proposals or exhibit the propensity for a particular discipline or skill but lack the means to convert the same into profitable ventures.

A release from the SVGYBT said this assistance will take the form of financial aid and encouragement from leaders in the business community.

“The main difference between the Trust and all other business support programmes is that with the Trust there would be real money on the table to encourage young people to start their own businesses, coupled with an abundance of advice and training. This, of course, will be to the benefit of the young persons and the benefit of others and the domestic economy as a whole,” the release said.

A number of institutions have already pledged a first wave of support primarily for capacity building and institutional arrangements to ensure the Trust’s successful launch and operation. These entities include the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), The British High Commission, First Caribbean International Bank, and the Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT). The SVGYBT is also undertaking a major network development drive which would form the core of the existence of the Trust to include procurement of seed money for supporting youth business ventures.

A task force led by Chairman Kyron Barker has been created and charged with the responsibility of attracting and mobilizing the necessary resources for successful launch of the SVGYBT. The other members of the task force are Gwenneth Anthony (Assistant Youth Officer -Ministry of Youth), Shafia London (Chief Executive Officer – Chamber of Industry and Commerce) and Grenville Williams (Legal Advisor).

The members of the task force have recently returned from Barbados, where they undertook training by the Barbados Youth Business Trust, recognized as one of the oldest and most experienced entrepreneurship programmes in the world.

A planned launch of the Trust is set for January 2010, which will see the Trust formally providing services to nationals of SVG. Persons who may be interested in assisting with the Youth Business Trust or request further information may contact the SVG Chamber of Industry and Commerce.