The Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (YEDP) was launched on 15th March, 2016 to enhance the deployment of the ingenuity and resourcefulness of Nigerian youths for maximum economic development. This was in recognition of the fact that there was no better segment of the Nigerian population than the youths to propel us to our much-needed economic recovery and diversification.
In the third quarter of 2015, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated that of the 36.3 million youths representing 48% of the nation’s labour force, 13.6 million or 37.7% of them were either unemployed or underemployed. This situation could not be allowed to fester given that many of our youths had very bright ideas and big dreams but are constrained by scarce seed funding.
The YEDP aims to fix the triple-barreled constraints of insufficiency, high cost and inadequate term of capital usually faced by youth entrepreneurs and startups. It offers credit of up to N3 million to eligible youth or N10 million for groups of 3 – 5 youths, Interest rate is 9% per annum. Tenor broadly depends on project complexity and cash flow but is between 1 year for working capital loan and 3 years for term loan. The collateral requirements are quite simple: academic and NYSC certificates, third party guarantees and other movable assets.
Target beneficiaries are members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), non-NYSC (but not more than five years post-NYSC), those who possess a verifiable tertiary institution certificate, and artisans with First School Leaving Certificate or a technical certificate or accredited proficiency certificate from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), whichever is applicable. Beneficiaries can be encouraged to migrate to other CBN interventions to obtain more funding if they utilize the YEDP facility properly.
The Guidelines for the programme indicate that activities eligible for financing include startups and expansion projects in agricultural value chains (fish farming, poultry, snail farming, etc.), cottage Industry, creative industry (tourism, arts and crafts) and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) among others.