Help at hand for young entrepreneurs

By Ritika Jha, IANS
Monday, February 28, 2011

CHANDIGARH - For those struggling to establish small and medium-scale businesses, there is good news. Hands-on financial and technical aid will be made available to budding entrepreneurs in Commonwealth nations.

The first experiment of the youth entrepreneur programme will be started here soon through the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP). It will then be replicated in other countries.

“The youth enterprise development (YED) programme will be replicated in six other locations across India and subsequently in other Commonwealth nations in the next phase,” Commonwealth Secretariat Advisor Ram Venuprasad told IANS.

The six other locations in India will be in Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan and West Bengal.

The Commonwealth youth enterprise facilitation centre was launched at its Asia centre here in February.

CYP has collaborated with the Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank and the Export-Import (Exim) Bank for the training programme.

About the criteria of selection of applicants in the programme, Venuprasad said: “We have established links with a number of local NGOs in and around our six chosen locations.”

“These NGOs will identify the eligible applicants in their respective regions on the basis of their entrepreneurial track record,” he added.

CYP will conduct the training by serving as a catalyst between the NGOs, the local branches of all the three collaborated banks and local stakeholders in different regions.

“Each aspirant will be provided technical and financial support by the bank officials for a minimum period of two years,” CYP regional director Raj Kishore Mishra told IANS here.

“The support will be extended till the time the entrepreneur doesn’t reach a sustainable position,” he added.

“We are expecting more bankers to come forward and extend their support to our budding entrepreneurs in the second phase of our programme,” Mishra said.

“Many of the Commonwealth countries look up to India for small-scale business experiences. With the success of this programme in India, we will be able to set benchmarks for its reproduction in the rest of the Commonwealth nations,” he added.

CYP is an initiative of the Commonwealth Secretariat-an inter-governmental agency and central institution of the Commonwealth nations.

Since its establishment in 1973, CYP has been working for the development of confidence and various skills among young people from Commonwealth nations aged between 15 and 29 years.

It operates through its pan-Commonwealth Office in London and its four regional centres based in Zambia (for Africa), India (for Asia), Guyana (for the Caribbean) and Australia (for South Pacific).

Conceptualising the YED programme in the last three years, CYP took into consideration the fact that the majority of the world’s poor comprise women, children and young people.

It also noted that in nearly all the developing countries, the youth unemployment rate is double that of adults.

(Ritika Jha can be contacted at

Filed under: Economy

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