In August 2017, MEDA and Cuso International finalized another successful cycle of the Youth Entrepreneurship Business Support Plan (YEBSP) as part of the YouLead (Youth Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Access and Development) project. YouLead’s overall goal is to enhance sustainable economic prosperity for 7,000 young people who reside in 18 Local Government Areas situated in Nigeria’s Cross River State. The YEBSP grants are just one of the many activities designed to achieve this goal.
To read more about the first cycle and the YEBSP process, please visit this blog.
The second cycle of YEBSP’s grants was completed in August 2017, disbursing 18 million Naira (approximately $62,540 Canadian dollars) to admirable and eager youth entrepreneurs. YouLead received a whopping 1,254 applications and awarded 101 grants to successful business plans written by budding entrepreneurs. Of the 101 grants disbursed, 57 young women and 45 young men received funds to support their business plans, all of which originated from the natural resource sector, ranging from fish farming to bee keeping.
Interestingly, the second cycle also found more women farmers in poultry and cassava than men, and more men farmers in fish farming and palm oil than women. To see a breakdown of sectors disaggregated by gender, see chart below.
All awardees also received valuable training on financialmanagement prior to disbursement to ensure awardee grants are being used wisely and efficiently. This two-day training included enlightening presentations on an array of beneficial topics, including gender mainstreaming, agricultural insurance and waste management. These young entrepreneurs are now equipped with start-up business knowledge which will kick-start their enterprises into reality.
YouLead’s role does not end here, as close monitoring of these blossoming businesses will commence during the business implementation stage. Close monitoring not only guarantees that the YEBSP grants are being used effectively, but it also allows entrepreneurs to stay engaged with YouLead staff and seek technical guidance as required from project Business Development Officers during the challenging start-up stage.
Armed with increased knowledge and understanding of how to manage finances, and extra funds to support their enterprises, MEDA is thrilled to be apart of the YEBSP grant process and looks forward to seeing these businesses in action.
YouLead commenced its third YEBSP cycle on October 20th, 2017, and can’t wait to review another round of innovative business plans! Stay tuned for our next update on this exciting activity.