Sep 6, 2010, 11:55 AM
The training, dubbed Rural Entrepreneurial Venture Creation and Experimental Learning (REVCEL), is being held under the Creating Opportunities for Rural Youth (CORY) project, which is implemented by the Global Youth Innovation Network Gambia Chapter (GYIN Gambia).
The project is targeted at young people engaged in various business ventures and farming.
The goals of the CORY project are to enable young rural men and women to create sustainable farm and non-farm businesses by building their entrepreneurial capacities for enhanced peer learning.
Mamadou Edrisa Njie, coordinator of CORY project, said the participants underwent a rigorous selection process in which 25 are selected from among more than 200 applicants.
He said similar trainings will be held in five rural regions with 25 participants in each region.
“We are starting the trainings in CRR because it is one of the biggest regions where young people are engaged in farming,” Mr Njie said.
He explained that the training is designed in a way that will ensure each of the participants is enabled to train four young people, who will have to train four more young people in order to enhance the entrepreneurial skills of more rural youths.
Ebrima Gano, executive director of Gambia Women’s Finance Association (GAWFA), said the initiative is meant to enhance the participants’ skills for the youth to make a difference.
Mr Gano, who is a training facilitator, said the participants will be taken through 10 modules of hands-on training that include business identification or idea development and ensure it is successful and sustainable.
Musa Keita, a VISACA APEX Animator (Field Staff), urged the participants to make the best out of the training to develop their entrepreneurial skills and be able to affect lives in their communities.
“Thousands of youth would have liked to be part of this training but they are not lucky to be part of it… So I urge that after the training you share the knowledge gained with your peers,” he said.
“In order to become [successful] entrepreneurs, you should always produce for the market and not to the market. If your products do not meet customers’ satisfaction they will not buy them.”
Malang Saibo Camara, deputy governor of CRR, said the participants have a heavy responsibility to fully participate in the training and be ready to impact the knowledge gained on to others.
“It is an opportunity for you and when an opportunity comes we must make best use of it,” Mr Camara said. “The success of this project lies entirely in your hands. You should stay focused and participate fully.”
Mariam Saine, CORY Project financial controller, challenged the participants to take the training seriously.
“This project is out to support you to have dignified livelihoods,” she said. “This is very important to you and also to us - the project management team - because we initiated it but you make it happen.”
The REVCEL trainings are to be held in the CRR South, CRR North, Lower River Region (LRR), Upper River Region (URR), North Bank Region (NBR) and the West Coast Region (WCR).
In each of the regions, 25 youths are to benefit from the trainings which will take the number of trained youth under the project to 150 across the country.
These 150 youths are expected to form a nationwide association to be known as Young Entrepreneurs Without Borders (YEWB).