A project intended to provide business start-up grants for youth in 10 communities in Montserrado County has been launched by the Government of Liberia (GoL) through the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) and House Hold Enterprise (HHE) sub-component.
The HHE, which was launched on Monday, April 16, is a sub-component of the Youth Opportunities Project, which will provide business start-up grants for youth and life-skills training to select beneficiaries to properly manage their own businesses.
Joseph Williams, LACE Executive Director, said the initiative is part of the government's plan to help create an enabling environment for young people between the ages of 18-35 and to create their own revenue through household enterprise and agriculture-related activities.
"This sub-component is targeting 3,000 beneficiaries over the 5-year implementation period of the Youth Opportunities Project (YOP)," he explained.
He added that the project is being sponsored by the World Bank to the tone of US$10 million. Mr. Williams commended the World Bank for the support, which he noted will go a long way for the young people of Liberia and the benefiting communities.
The LACE Deputy Executive Director further noted that the project is placed into several components but LACE is focused on two components to include: The Household enterprise and the Productive, Public Works and life skills support.
The ministries of Youth and Sports, as well as Gender, Children and Social Protection, and the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment are the sole implementing partners under the YOP program.
After the transparent lottery process, Williams said, 80 beneficiaries will be selected and they will go through a three-week youth orientation training by the service provider Education Care. After the training, the group will be divided into eight and each group will receive US$2,500 as a start-up.
At the completion of the training, Education Care, the service provider, will identify the line of businesses for the beneficiaries and will place them in a group of eight and subsequently work with them for its effective establishment.
In a symbolic style to show the transparency of the lottery exercise, Williams shook a white bucket in front of the participants and picked one of the tickets that identified Ms. Love Kromah as the first lucky winner. In a brief interview with reporters, Ms. Kromah thanked LACE and other stakeholders of the project for putting a smile on her face.
She promised to utilize wisely whatever she will receive from the project, in a move to sustain herself. West Point, Sonewhein, Logan Town, Clara Town and many others are part of the communities benefiting from the project.