The recipients have acquired various technical and vocational skills to enable them to establish their own businesses as well as improve their operations.
The start-up kits included eight sewing machines and accessories, three gas ovens and accessories, two electrical tools, a hairdryer and its accessories and a leather works machine.
This formed part of the MasterCard Young Africa Works project, which was targeted at creating 39,000 jobs for young people in the country.
The project, which started in the third quarter of 2020 in the region, has so far been implemented in six Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the region including Tamale, Sagnarigu, Yendi, Gushegu, Savelugu and Kpandai.
Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, Northern Regional Minister, who presented the start-up kits to the beneficiaries in Tamale on Wednesday, urged them to put the skills they had acquired and the kits to good use to lead sustainable lives.
Alhaji Saibu advised them to do their work diligently, and train others to also do well, “So that you all will lead sustainable lives and take good care of your families.”
He told them that, “you can make it in whatever field you belong,” urging them to venture into entrepreneurship rather than waiting for white-collar jobs at public institutions, which were not available.
Mr Matthew Azoya, Northern Regional Director of GEA said as at December 2021, a total of 1,356 young people in the six MMDAs had been trained and 120 mentored as part of the project.
Mr Azoya said the Business Advisory Centres in the region implemented activities under two components of the project namely Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship, and MSME Business Acceleration.
He said, “Through the project, the region has facilitated the certification of more than 65 MSMEs to acquire Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) certification for their products. This has improved their access to markets even outside the region and country. This facilitation is still ongoing, and more beneficiaries are being assisted to package their products for FDA certification.”
He added that “The project is also facilitating Registrar Generals Department (RGD) business certification for beneficiaries. A total of 60 beneficiaries have so far been supported with RGD certification to enhance the beneficiary’s and client’s access to markets. Some beneficiaries were monitored and assisted with business counselling, on the job training and the use of record-keeping books.”
Mr Azoya was hopeful that the beneficiaries would make good use of the opportunity to improve and sustain their businesses to make profits and create jobs.
He gave the assurance of his outfit’s readiness to partner with the government and other organisations to create jobs for the youth through entrepreneurship and business development programmes.
Osman Zainab, a beneficiary, who received a gas oven and its accessories for her bakery business, expressed gratitude to the project’s partners saying the items would help her to improve her bakery business as well as train others.