The Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) was launched in 2017, with the aim of increasing job opportunities and income prospects for young Gambians.
This support according to the EU, will help more young entrepreneurs and small businesses to create and sustain jobs and income in view of post-crisis recovery.
In a release sent to The Point, the EU reiterated that it will support a number of young entrepreneurs in critical sectors such as transport and logistics and address other supply chain disruptions by facilitating market linkages. To facilitate access to finance for fast growing companies, the project will provide co-investment grants in collaboration with the Gambia Angel Investors Network (GAIN). It will also facilitate support from the Gambian diaspora.
“Further support will be extended through technical and vocational training to boost the skills and employability of young Gambians while enhancing the institutional capacity for training providers. This includes support to operationalising a new training centre in Ndemban, West Coast Region in collaboration with Gambian skills providers.”
The release further said that: “YEP will also continue to support Gambian authorities in their response to the covid-19 pandemic, including through awareness raising and prevention, mitigation measures and other post-crisis recovery support.”
The EU Ambassador Attila LAJOS said: “The European Union remains strongly committed to supporting young Gambians by boosting their employment opportunities and income prospects, especially in the context of the covid-19 pandemic and its economic impact.”
Launched in early 2017, the Youth Empowerment Project, in partnership with more than 40 national implementing partners has demonstrated positive results. At least 1,800 jobs have been created or sustained. 2,400 youths have been supported through technical and vocational training and 2,900 youths through entrepreneurship support, including 120 returnees.
Over 700 small businesses have been supported to improve their competitiveness through enhanced packaging, food safety and quality, innovation and product development, increasing production capacity, and business linkages and more than 300 companies have benefitted from access to finance.