Jun 10, 2011, 2:35 PM
Sixty young aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs who underwent training on business and account management, on 22 February 2011 graduated at a ceremony held at the Reliance Financial Services on Kairaba Avenue.
The participants were all awarded certificates and the three best groups that emerged with the best group works were also awarded with cash prizes each.
The best group that emerged first in the group work, Fas Jom Group with 80%, received a cash prize of D5,000.
The Allah Tentu group came out second with 77% and were given cash prize of D3,000 while the Dego Construction group that came third with 75% received D2,000.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ismaila Faal, executive director of Reliance Financial Services, said they at Reliance Financial Services were indeed humble and privileged to have been chosen by Gamworks as the sub-implementing partner for Gambian government/UNDP Gamjobs project for the training of aspiring and emerging youth entrepreneurs.
Mr Faal described the day as “historic and groundbreaking”, adding: “In that we are witnessing the graduation ceremony of 60 youths selected nationwide to undergo training in Business and Account Management Services.”
“It is every government’s policy to have high or full employment,” he said, adding that the identification of 60 youths as part of the wider UNDP Gamjobs skills and entrepreneurship program “is yet another manifestation of the commitment of the Gambia government to the realization of its macro-economic policy objectives”.
Mr Faal also said: “The Gambia government/UNDP Gamjobs programme is in alignment with the global development agenda enshrined in the Millennium Development Goals.
“MDG1 aims to achieve the Eradication of Poverty in particular to reduce by half the proportion of Gambians living on less than 1USD per day. Given this imminent goal against the set deadline of 2015, the Gambia government/UNDP Gamjobs project could not have been more timely and relevant.”
Reliance Financial Services as a social enterprise believes in doing well and doing good, Mr Faal says, adding: “Our mission of Changing Lives through the provision of affordable financial services and the all-important financial literacy and entrepreneurship development programme is complimentary to the MDGs and the Gambia government’s overall macro-economic policy objectives enshrined in the PRSP11.”
He revealed that the graduating entrepreneurs went through an intensive and hands on training in Formation of Legal Entities, Efficient running and maintenance of bank accounts, Introduction to Marketing Research and Development, Book Keeping, Fixed Assets and Inventory Management, Job Costing and Negotiating Contracts, and Performance Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting.
“It is our hope and belief that the knowledge and valuable lessons learnt will be put to good use,” he said, adding that they would work to ensure that the graduating class becomes a catalyst for positive change by inspiring many more youths to apply and join the Gambia Government UNDP Gamjobs program.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Salimata Touray, project coordinator of Gamjobs said: “Again, we mark another milestone in national efforts to empower young people with skills and business sense to facilitate their personal and professional development and enhance their participation in nation building.”
She added: “While we celebrate this new development, we also want to keep in mind the significant proportion of young men and women, particularly school leavers, who are not gainfully employed whether in the formal or informal sector. Those young people lack marketable skills and as a result, a significant number of them penetrate the job market with little or no skills and thus no hope of being gainfully employed and of course unable to find the necessary resources for self-employment.”
Other speakers at the ceremony included the Director General of Gamworks, Ebrima Cham, and Basirou Jallow, who delivered the vote of thanks on behalf of the participants.