HELP YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS TO CREATE JOBS FOR UNEMPLOYED YOUTH
SUPPORT 20 YOUTH INCUBATORS has changed its name for the second time in a bid to convey a clearer message on the objectives of the project. We are totally convinced that the only sure way to guarantee employment for the youth is by empowering young entrepreneurs financially and mentally, to create jobs for themselves and other unemployed youth. Totally Youth believes that this project concept can be replicated anywhere in the world to ensure that the youth are taken care of to secure our futures. Each young entrepreneur we support, can employ at least four other unemployed youth. This takes five unemployed youth off the jobs market. If we can support 20 youth incubators a year, 100 youth will be off the jobs market annually. So imagine what can happen if we support thousands of young entrepreneurs, yearly. Globally, the youth have been forced into entrepreneurship, because of stagnant job markets. This is a very good thing. But if we do not resource them adequately, then good talents will turn into idle hands, depression and poverty will increase, crime and unrest will overflow and we will all be the worse for it.
Since its inception, STOP YOUTH POVERTY has impacted the lives of 55 young people who are now striving to grow their small businesses. They are not yet making “big bucks” but they are able to feed, cloth and shelter themselves. Their self-worth has improved and they have the confidence and determination to succeed. They have acquired the necessary business sense and discipline to know that starting “small” is normal and that their business will grow just as any well-tendered seed grows into a big tree and bears fruits. We are therefore grateful to every single person who helped us raise a total of US$4,185.25 out of the US$51,000, to support Urica, Alice, Seth, Wisdom and Team Network. The amount went a long way to help us provide some needed tools and logistical support and sustain provision of consumables to the incubating start-ups.
The Catering Centre reached break-even point a few times. Unfortunately heavy rains have destroyed our Event Space where customers sit to eat. We are now trying to rehabilitate it so we can continue services and delivery. Furthermore, due to limited resources we are yet to purchase the deep freezer, which will help buy more stock at a time, to avoid the daily increases in prices of consumables and supplies. Hopefully, through the benevolence of our supporters, we will be able to complete these tasks by the end of July 2014 and get back to business. It will cost US$3,500 at the current exchange rate to get things back into ship shape. We are in the process of registering a new set of incubators and interns for the Centre.
The Backyard Space is seeing its first garden of tomatoes, which will be harvested in August 2014. Unfortunately the Garden lost its crop of cabbage and lettuce due to termite attacks. We are therefore planning to plant okra, garden eggs and “kpakpo shito” which are not susceptible to termites, for harvest in October 2014. Produce from the Backyard, will be sold to the Catering Centre and the general public. Everyone at Totally Youth will also buy these produce to ensure revenue generation. We are yet to bring on board the four start-up interns due to limited resources.
The Fashion Centre generated some modest revenue with a small profit through custom tailoring. It is now going to produce ready-made clothing, using African print. These will initially be sold locally but our donors and friends outside Ghana will be able to order our label through our website. Profits from revenue generated, will support all incubators, towards self-sustainability. We will be able to bring on board more Fashion Incubators, if we make enough profit with our first batch of ready-to-wear clothing. We will appreciate support to bring on board the start-up interns as well.
Our last Beauty Incubator – Mami, successfully completed her incubation with enough seed money to start her own hairdressing salon. The Centre is fully equipped and ready for use. Everyone at Totally Youth will use the Centre for all their beauty needs. Old customers will be contacted through our informative complimentary card distribution and on our website. We will be registering new incubators for the Centre next week. This new entrant will need free accommodation at TY during her incubation, since she cannot afford boarding and lodging in Accra.
We are in negotiations with a major television station to start a new Reality Show called FAME – Fashion and Modeling Extravaganza, to help keep young models off the streets and support young fashion designers into business. This will also protect the girl-models from sexual influences. It will be a weekly show, which will earn the participants some income and bring them together as self-agency.
All donations received are used solely for the incubators.To ensure some level of profit for the incubators, Totally Youth covers all utilities, rents, promotions and communications costs, for the incubators. Totally Youth takes care of consumables based a revolving fund for each Centre. We also provide free accommodation (free room and utilities), for up to four homeless participants. All this allows the incubators to focus completely on business development, instead of overheads and the next meal.
On a sad note, our currency – the cedi is still depreciating. Consequently, several of the imported goods we depend on, are being sold at four times their cedi value, in anticipation of the next drop. This reduces the purchasing power of our foreign earnings, which is at an exchange rate of three times the cedi value. Any time gap between budgeting and purchasing, means that we can only purchase some and not all the supplies and services needed for success. Not reaching our target fundraising amount makes it even harder. Today, 15 July 2014, petrol prices have gone up by over 20% and the market is already adjusting itself to increase profit margins in order to protect purchasing power. Customers can only device cost-savings through cutbacks, sincere no salary/wage increases have been announced.
Within the above contest, we are sincerely appealing to you to consider becoming a recurrent donor. This will help us to plan and deliver successfully, one month at a time. If 10 to 20 donors can consider contributing an amount from US$ 25 – US$ 500 a month for two years, to augment one-off donations, we will be able to successfully turn STOP YOUTH POVERTY into a self-sustaining project. Self-sustainability will be achieved through timely delivery of appropriate levels of requisite materials, tools, supplies and consumables to Incubation Teams (minimum one entrepreneur and four start-up interns) to ensure appropriate profit margins. Appropriate profit margins will earn Incubators adequate seed money and basic business tools for a self-sustaining start-up at the end of their incubation.
We are forever grateful to all our donors for their generous donations. We are grateful to Global Giving for making it possible and to Microsoft's Youth Spark for doubling our efforts whenever we qualify. You are always welcome at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/stop-youth-poverty. God bless.
We extend our warmest Easter greetings to all our donors and friends. This year we have been working with over fifty unemployed youth entrepreneurs who are willing to set up their own businesses instead of looking for non-existent jobs. We have models, event managers, chefs, fashion designers, transport operators and a farmer, all going through capacity building and mentoring and receiving inputs to incubate their start-ups in a hands-on, practical way. We have embarked on another realty TV show – Fashion And Modelling Extravaganza, which will help 26 young boys and girls into jobs and protect young models in the industry. As the parent programme, the Support-20-Youth-Incubator has seen four incubator projects under its umbrella:
and two incubator projects in the pipeline:
These two pipeline projects will soon be posted on GlobalGiving for your kind consideration. We are pleased to announce that we are receiving more participants who would rather go into business for themselves, than look for non-existent jobs. The catering, fashion and farming incubators are poised to break even soon. The beginning of incubation is always difficult for participants, especially when they have to contend with breaking even before realizing profits. This is always the difficult lesson to learn, since the participants have very little or no money at all, when they come to TY. Our main difficulty relates to the current depreciating value of the cedi which has given rise to price hikes to cover purchases in foreign currencies. This affects the amount of money that Totally Youth can invest in the incubators, since what was bought for a cedi today will cost three cedis or more tomorrow. This makes it difficult to provide all the needs of the incubators and to plan effectively for scheduled completion of incubation. Without the generous support of our donors, we will be in dire straits. Timely donations are the most cost-effective, since we can then complete procurements before the next price hike.
Due to recent heavy rains, we have lost the canopy over our Event Space where customers sit to be served their meals from the Catering Centre. Since we are in the rainy season, we need urgent assistance to replace the canopy and fixed the supporting metal beams. If we do not do this in time, Incubators at the Catering Centre will lose their hard-earned customers. This will also delay their expected break-even schedule and hence their opportunity to start buying tools for their planned businesses from expected profits. We are therefore humbly appealing for donations of US$2,000 to Support-20-Youth-Incubators for the replacement and repairs to the canopy and structure.
WORSENING YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT TRENDS
The unemployment trend has gotten worse, with a local labour organization quoting 250,000 unemployed youth a year, as the latest figure. The CEO of Totally Youth was recently invited to present at a TEDx in Ghana – TEDxLabone, where she received a standing ovation on her presentation entitled “Youth – The Third Pillar for Job Creation”. Youth employment is contributing significantly to crisis and unrest in countries all over the world and we must make every effort to stem it. The good news is that youth unemployment can be drastically reduced if youth entrepreneurs are supported to set up businesses to create jobs for themselves and other unemployed youth. Totally Youth is therefore sincerely appreciative of our donors, because they are helping to prove that the youth are indeed the Third Pillar for Job Creation after government and the existing private sector. Your donations help the “youth to create jobs for the youth” and to reduce youth poverty, homelessness and crime.
Currently, we have four needy male participants sharing the two rooms on our premises (rent-free with free water and electricity). Even with this support, they still need allowances for daily meals and transportation when they go on errands for their start-ups. Unfortunately, the continuing rapid fall of the cedi reduces our purchasing power everyday thereby reducing our projected support and impact. It is therefore critical to get donations that will allow us to purchase in bulk (with consideration for shelf life), and also benefit from volume discounts and cost-savings. We would therefore be grateful if you will consider making lump sum donations to our projects. Please note that all incubators benefit from donations made to Support-20-Youth-Incubators, as the parent programme. Donations can be made to:
With your continuing support, we will surely achieve our vision where employment will be an entrenched human right and our youth will be the confirmed Third Pillar for Job Creation worldwide.
Thank you and God bless.
SUPPORT-20-YOUTH-INCUBATORS A-YEAR Now In Operation
We sincerely thank our donors who were able to support our ongoing projects as well as our Flagship Programme – Support-20-Youth-Incubators-A-Year. With your support, we have been able to start the programme with three incubators – Urica – catering; Alice – fashion design; eFive – road transport. We appreciate your prompt action and generosity and trust that more donors will follow in your footsteps to help make our programmes self-sustaining. We aim to be self-sustaining in three years.
URICA – OUR CATERING INCUBATOR
Urica has started incubating towards her own restaurant business in the near future. With targeted advertisements and regular mentoring, she is already generating income through returning and new customers. She is so determined that we believe that she will be able to break even very soon. When this happens, she will start making profit which will enable her buy relevant items for her own restaurant. The TY Support-20-Youth-Incubators A-Year Revolvinging Fund will then be ready for transfer to the next catering incubator. We can achieve this through your continuing support.
Under the Catering Incubation, TY provides cooking utensils, crockery, gas cooker with cylinder, etc, for food preparation; consumables for cooking and garnishing the food; and serving plates, cutlery, drinking glasses, napkins, trays, tables, chairs, etc, for serving food to customers. We are proud of Urica’s commitment and determination to succeed and we are providing her with all the relevant capacity building and mentoring to ensure her success. She will be recruiting her three staffers at the beginning of next month. TY is making every effort to purchase a deep freezer, fridge and generator, to facilitate productivity at the Catering Center and your support will be appreciated. Donations to www.globalgiviing.org/projects/support-20-youth-incubators will help us achieve this.
ALICE – OUR FASHION INCUBATOR
Alice has started her incubation as a fashion designer under our Support-20-Incubators-A-Year project. She has already designed and constructed her first three garments at our Fashion Center. At the Center, she has at her disposal, two sewing machines, one trimming machine, one hanging clothes rack, two movable clothes rack, several clothes hangers, mirror, dressing room, etc to facilitate her work. She also get a supply of fabric and accessories for the construction of the garments. Alice is a disciplined and great designer and we are very happy with her dedication and professionalism. She has started generating income and we are looking forward to her breaking even in the near future. She is receiving relevant capacity building and mentoring to ensure her success. She is now trying to expand her customer base through targeted advertisements and show-and-tells. We believe that she will also start making profit in the near future, so that the TY Support-20-Youth-Incubators A-Year Revolving Fund can be transferred to the next fashion incubator. We are currently raising funds to purchase an industrial sewing machine and display cabinets to improve productivity and sales. Donations to www.globalgiviing.org/projects/support-20-youth-incubators will help us achieve this.
eFIVE – OUR AD HOC INCUBATOR
Kweku, Courage, Louis, Larry and TY are working hard to make the eJet Road Transport Company a reality. The four young graduates are working hard on fresh financial proposals to facility the acquisition of a 30% loan facility of US$4,000,000.00, which will provide the required basis for a bank loan of US$12,500,000.00 loan to procure buses and build the required regional terminals. As indicated earlier, this project will employ a total of 2,845 young people when implemented. TY is therefore making all efforts to ensure due diligence and feasibility of the project. The four graduates have a 25 years combined experience in the road transport business, marketing and construction through the full- and part-time work they had to undertake to help pay for their education. Their modern terminals will have facilities including a health clinic, goods forwarding and insurance, food court, restrooms, transit accommodation and shopping malls, to address the multi-facetted needs of travelers. Due to the high volume of road travelers in Ghana, this venture can pay back the loans within one to three years. The four went through two years of surveys and feasibility studies to develop their business plan. They came on board Totally Youth during the second and we have been mentoring them and building their capacity to date. They have all now graduated and we are confident that with timely financial intervention by donors like your good self, we can make the eJet Road Transport System a reality.
Totally Youth provides eFive with free access to its shared Office and Knowledge Space, laptops, Wi-Fi Internet, stationary as well as capacity building, mentoring and counseling. We also provide occasional allowances based on availability of funds. We are making relevant efforts to find donors, sponsors, angels, equity investors and/or bank loans to help make the project a reality. With your usual kind support, we can together ensure that this opportunity to employ 2,845 unemployed graduates will not end up as a “pipe” dream. I trust that you will continue to support us to reduce youth unemployment in Ghana by making donations to our Flagship porgramme at www.globalgiviing.org/projects/support-20-youth-incubators .
TOTALLY YOUTH ALUMNI
Please join us in saying congratulations, goodbye and farewell to Tina, Akweley and Nakki, our two Career Interns and Event Management incubator, respectively.
With her new job and acceptance to the Ghana Women Leadership programme, Tina is earning a good salary and has now developed her personal project for the Leadership programme. We will be hosting her project at TY which will help female students of tertiary institutions develop leadership skills and prepare them for decision-making positions while in school and after graduation. Tina and the students under her project will all receive capacity building and mentoring at TY. Tina will receive leadership training both in Ghana and the US under the Leadership programme organized by NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
Akweley is now working full time with a financial institution in the town of Tema. We continue to support her through telephone mentoring and counseling. The feedback so far is that she is doing well.
Nakki is gone to university to strengthen his qualifications for business. TY provided regular and relevant counseling to him through the entire process; paid a portion of the requisite fees and dropped him off on campus. We believe that with the capacity building and mentoring he received at TY, he will be successful in his tertiary education and become a conscientious entrepreneur with a great future. We continue to counsel him through telephone and when he visits. He still has access to free accommodation at TY. Even though we were not able to raise enough money or sponsorship to telecast his TV Reality Show, which he developed during his incubation, the lessons learnt has made him very matured and the show – FAME, remains a viable project which is still being pursued.
NGO SUPPORT: We have been approached by several Youth-run NGOs for assistance. They include NGOs grooming and protecting young female models and artistes from sexual harassment, during talent discovery processes and supporting young chefs into jobs or self-employment. We are therefore in the process of developing a special incubation programme for Youth NGOs to facilitate their work – Youth-Supporting-Youth. We will keep you updated on our progress in this new area.
Dear donors, with unemployment rising globally, your support is very valuable to us. We will appreciate it very much, if you could also have time to advise us in new and better ways to help the hundreds of thousands unemployed youth in Ghana.
DEAR DONORS, PLEASE ACCEPT OUR UNCONDITIONAL GRATITUDE.
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