IMVF TEKKI FII trains youth in entrepreneurship and marketing techniques –

By: Haruna Kuyateh

The IMVF TEKKI FII project, an EU-supported project, has completed its six-day entrepreneurship and marketing training course, marked with an award ceremony of startup kits for the second group of TVET beneficiaries. The slogan “Promoting Agricultural Opportunities for Gambian Youth”. The training took place at the Walimang Hotel in Farafenni, North Bank Region. The entrepreneurship training was attended by 51 beneficiaries and aimed to transform the lives of rural youth through TVET training in mini machine technicians in the fields of motorcycle and generator repair, poultry, honey, horticulture, business and small ruminant production.

Beneficiaries received a $50,000 Startup Kit grant to boost their line of business.

Capacity development targeted 5 small engine repairs, poultry 2, beekeeping 5, horticulture 19, small ruminants 5 and agroprocessing 15.

The training focused on record-keeping, inventory, business plan development, opportunity seeking, preservation, risk taking, demand for effectiveness and quality efficiency, time management, information search, networking, business networks, business idea generation, marketing, advertising, market research and what makes a good business idea.

The beneficiaries were sponsored students from IMVF TEKKI FII supported by the Tumana Agency for Development (TAD) and Julangel Training Center in the Upper River Region, Amsterdam Training Center in Bush Town Central River Region North and Kuntair’s Insight Training Center in the North Bank Region were drawn.

Susan LusoJatta Agribusiness and Monitoring and Evaluation Assistant at IMVF TEKKI FII speaks on the relevance of youth capacity development through VET and entrepreneurship.

Seedy Sey Lead Trainer said the training would encourage closer collaboration and networking among young people to share best practice. He said providing startup kits would empower youth to explore their potential in transforming the lives of young people. Mr Sey urged young people to make the best use of the opportunities available in the country, noting the revolving youth loan program at the Social Development Fund, GIRAV, NEDI, ROOTS and other microfinance institutions.

Alagie Camara and Pa Malick Jallow, Executive Members of The Gambia Backway Returnees GBR, will give a presentation on the dangers of irregular migration, citing the loss of life, imprisonment and economic loss to families.

Beneficiary youth commended IMVF TEKKI FII’s intervention to complement government efforts to bridge vocational training courses among rural youth and, most importantly, to provide grants for startup kits. Young people have committed to adopting best practices and using grants.

Aminata Nyabally, an agri-food processing graduate from TAD development agency in Tumana, confirmed that she received a refrigerator, blender, sealing machine, inverter and controller for a battery charger as part of starter packs worth D50,000. She noted that the 4 month training supported by IMVF at TAD changed her life and is now self employed.

AmadouSaidy from Jarra Jenoi, Kali Dem from Fuladou Dasilami Mini-Machine technicians expressed their delight at the assistance offered to them in repairing motorcycles and generators. The startup kits in the form of tool boxes, sprayers, shoes, gloves and essential materials arrived on time and they are ready to start their businesses. The beneficiaries urge their fellow citizens to make the best use of the opportunities in the country.

Wassu beekeeper Haruna Fofana said training in honey harvesting and processing wax into soap and oil contributes to honey production using modern harvesting methods. He thanked IMVF TEKKI FII for the support and assured the use of the skills.

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