NACCUG grants support youth employment

The Mini Grants Scheme Officer of the National Association of Cooperative Credit Unions of Gambia (NACCUG), Saikou Touray, recently announced that his office has disbursed about GMD 1.5M to support youth beneficiaries in the country.

The purpose of the Mini Grant Scheme is to enhance employ-ability of youths in The Gambia, create more youth-friendly enterprises, and encourage youths to take leadership roles in the credit union movement, thereby curbing irregular migration.

Since the inception of the scheme, Mr. Touray said NACCUG has established a solid partnership with the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) to support young Gambians in creating prospective enterprises as well as up-scaling the small loans and existing small scale businesses.

The Mini Grant Scheme aims to complement other components of the YEP project to create an enabling environment for young entrepreneurs.

As of the end of April this year, 32 of the 234 applications received nationwide have resulted in grants awarded either to start a new business or improve an existing business.

According to Mr. Touray, the Mini Grant Scheme Committee awarded over GMD 600,000 to 15 youths during the first tranche and over GMD 900,000 to 17 youths during the second tranche.

The areas supported by grants include agribusiness, poultry, information communication & technology (ICT), fashion & textile, tourism and creative industries.

Noting some of the challenges faced in the implementation of the three-year project, Mr. Touray explained that some of the beneficiaries usually anticipate cash while disbursements are made in kind which, according to him, is making the process very slow.

He added that there is a gap in awareness in the understanding of the mini grant by potential beneficiaries, “Knowing how to fill the mini grant form is also another challenge we are facing with the applicants,” he said.

Mr. Touray went on to encourage young people to apply as the project has two more years to go, adding, “We’re still considering applications.”

NACCUG is the apex body for all credit unions in The Gambia. It was formed in 1991, with the objective to promote and support the development of viable credit unions through sound and market-based business strategies. NACCUG’s focus is, among other things, to fight poverty by making financial and non-financial services available to its members at a reasonable cost.

Ansumana Jammeh, one of the beneficiaries, commended NACCUG for distributing the grants to them and assured them that the monies will be used judiciously.

Asked how he intends to spend the money he received, Ansumana Jammeh said he wants to open a bar and restaurant around the tourist recreation area when the tourism season starts in October this year. He says the venture is very profitable.

TMP – 03/10/2018

For inquiries, contact: Mr Saikou Touray, NACCUG’s Mini Grant Officer on:+220-2257333 or on Email.

Photo credit: National Youth Counci Photo caption: A group of young Gambians attending a ceremony.