least 80 young men and women have been trained on business plan development to
support and empower them with skills to develop bankable business plans.
Held in Jara Soma, the training funded by The Gambia Commercial Agricultural Value Chain Management (GCAV).
It was also meant to scale up youth involvement and participation in the agricultural value chain through the relevant projects under the ministry of Agriculture, in line with the inter-ministerial partnership between the ministries of Youth and Sports and Agriculture.
The project came after the two institutions realised that the young entrepreneurs lack the capacity to produce standard or bankable business proposals to attract funding for their various businesses, from donors and projects.
Lead trainer Ousman Sonko said the business plan development training is hands-on, because they need people who could definitely deliver the goods.
He added that the training course was meant to expose the participants on practical skills of business plan development and that the benefits are multi-faceted.
He said the idea is to help participants develop a winning business plan, because at the end of the day NEDI has a responsibility to collect all these plans, and on their behalf to appeal to different donors to sponsor and support the plans.
He challenged the participants to socialize and network among themselves, and take advice from each other and serve as role models to each other. “As young people, we don’t have time of blaming our parents, we don’t have time of blaming authorities; our survival is our individual responsibility, others can only be concerned, let us make best use of these opportunities,” he stressed.
Mustapha Badjie, programme manager NEDI, said the training course was part of the mandate of NEDI to support and empower youths and women with entrepreneurial skills.
He said part of the criteria of most of the agricultural projects that provide funding to youths and women business requires business plans. “You cannot access these funding unless you provided a tangible business plan. This is why we came up with this training to support young people and women to be able to develop tangible and bankable business plans, to access the funding provided by the agricultural projects.”
Principal of Rural Development Institute (RDI) Alassan Minteh challenged the participants to take the training course seriously, saying a lot of resources have been invested into the training activity, and failure to take it seriously may led to a waste of resources.
He said thousands of young people are in need of this type of training, but they did not have the opportunity to be part of it.