Zongo Development Fund Rolls Out Youth Entrepreneurship Support Programme

2020-07-24

The Zongo Development Fund (ZoDF), a tailor-made fund set up under the Ministry of Inner-City and Zongo Development is rolling an initiative to engage One Thousand and Two Hundred youth in all sixteen regions.

The initiative dubbed ‘Youth Vocational and Entrepreneurship skills training’

The initiative is for the youth between the ages of Eighteen and Thirty-Five and must reside in the Zongo community.

Applicants are expected to log onto the Zodf.org to sign up and enter the application system

Background of Fund

 The overall aim of the establishment of the Zongo Development Fund is to inject investment into the Zongo communities to unleash their potentials to become centres of opportunity in the country.

To do this, the fund must invest in critical areas in the community that are capable of catalysing economic growth and creation of economic opportunities and prosperity for inclusionary development in the area.

As stated in Act 649, the mandate of the Fund centres around 5 core pillars;

(i)Investment in basic services and strategic infrastructure in the Zongo communities,

(ii)Financing education and training programmes of the youth in Zongo communities,

(iii)Supporting local business in Zongo communities,

(iv) Promotion of programmes to support tourism, culture and arts in Zongo communities and

(v) Provision of social protection for the poor and vulnerable children, men and women in Zongo communities.

(iv) In line with the above-stated mandate, the Zongo Development Fund (ZoDF) to apply a part its budgetary allocations to the training of a selected group of Zongo Youth entrepreneurs in various vocational and entrepreneurship skills in the coastal belt of the country. 

The overall objective of the program is to develop and transform the socio-economic conditions of Zongo communities to become centres of opportunities through the promotion youth entrepreneurship and job creation in Zongo Communities.

To reach these objectives, the Zongo Youth Vocational Skills and Entrepreneurship Support Program is designed as an integrated intervention comprising two main pillars: (i) Provision of Vocational Training to Zongo Youth Entrepreneurs in Zongo Communities across Ghana; and

(ii) The provision of entrepreneurial support to the most promising Zongo youth entrepreneurs among the training beneficiaries. 

Within the context of promoting skills development, entrepreneurship and job creation in Zongo communities, the Zongo Youth Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Support Program is designed as a multi-level intervention to empower young entrepreneurs in Zongo communities across the country to acquire employable skills and/or start their own businesses to create new job and income generation opportunities for the excluded youth.

The acquisition of vocational skills and entrepreneurial competencies expected in this program will contribute to ensuring sustainable socio-economic development in the Zongo communities and entire as a whole. 

2. Objectives of the Program 

 2.1 Main Objectives 

The main objectives of the Zongo Youth Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Support are to Identify and train 1200 Zongo youth on Vocational Skills and Entrepreneurship to promote entrepreneurship and Job creations in Zongo Communities in Ghana.

 2.2 Specific objectives

The specific objectives of the project are to

 1. Identity and select 1200 young entrepreneurs from Across the country for Vocational Skills training and Entrepreneurship Support 

2. Profile and identify the Vocational skills training and entrepreneurship support need of the selected youth entrepreneurs

3. Train the selected youth entrepreneurs on the identified vocational skills training needs

4. Identify and recommend the most promising youth entrepreneurs for start-up or business grant support

5. Provide Short term entrepreneurial support for the most promising, innovative and feasible business young entrepreneurs

 

 3. Methodological Approaches for Service Delivery

All training will be specially designed to work with available resources within the economic zones of the training beneficiaries.

Training approach will be adapted to ensure that the beneficiaries will not need to have had any significant formal education to participate and utilized the training effectively.

 Therefore, the entire training session will be a facilitator led processes following the principles of adult/experiential learning approaches.  

 The training shall be structured systematically to effectively deploy and utilization relevant participatory adult learning methods and tools.

Specific participatory learning techniques to be deployed throughout the training process will include; Participatory Learning, Peer learning and Networking among beneficiaries, Experiential learning, Facilitation, Simulation, role plays and mentorship that will effectively facilitate the Empowerment of beneficiaries to acquire relevant skills, competencies and mindset to gain decent employment and/or start or expand their businesses.

At the end of each session, beneficiaries shall be given an opportunity to demonstrate evidence of Training accomplishments

 4. Project Management Framework

As the project involves the delivery of the technical services, specialized technical service providers will be identified and carefully selected to effectively delivery these technical services.

These technical services providers shall be responsible for the direct delivery of project deliverables to the beneficiaries of the training and entrepreneurship support program.

For the purpose of efficiency, the entire country will be divided into three zones comprising of

Coastal, Middle and Northern Belts.

Each belt shall be assigned a technical service provider who shall be focused exclusively on the delivery of all technical services for their assigned zones.

To ensure effective project management, monitoring and evaluation, the technical service providers shall report an ad hoc project committee at the Fund’s Secretariat.

The member of the committee shall comprise of the representative of all relevant departments required to ensure the effective and efficient execution of all project activities.

They shall have a term of reference that will specify their role through ensure that the project achieves its stated objectives.

In general terms, the Project committee shall meet will service providers regularly to address project challenges, review project reports, visit project sites to verify that all project activities are being delivered as planned and approved.

The project committee shall report to the CEO and provide a regular briefing on the project to the entire management team at the Secretariat. 

5. Expected Program Outputs 

3.1 Vocational Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Support Needs Assessment of Selected Zongo Youth

The project shall identify and select 1200 Zongo youth entrepreneurs across the country through a competitive public call for applications.

As part of the application package, the applicants shall provide information relating to their demographics, employment status, current skills and competencies, levels of education and a description of their business ideas and interests.

Based on the information provided by the applicants, the participants shall be profiled for effective targeting of the vocational skills training and entrepreneurship support. 

The criteria for selection shall be based on place of residence (the participants must be selected from a Zongo community) and a demonstrated motivation and willingness to learn a vocational skill and/or start his/her business in one. 

 3.2 Vocational Skills Training for Selected Zongo Youth Entrepreneurs

The project shall deliver hands-on vocational skills training based on the skills training needs identified.

The beneficiaries shall be categorized into various of a cohort defined by their respective interest areas identified in the initial training and support needs assessment.

Specific training modules, materials and tools shall be developed and tailored to the specific needs of the various cohorts to ensure effective service delivery. 

The training modules to be developed shall cover all aspects of the training, including the design of the training program, the delivery to selected participants and follow up activities, such as the evaluation of the training process, lessons learned and reporting. 

The focus of this training shall be enabling participants to acquire employable technical skills in their respective interest. 

After the training, participants are expected to develop competencies required to obtain gainful employment or start their own businesses in their line of training.

As such, a comprehensive training module on entrepreneurship and business development shall be developed.

The aim of this entrepreneurship support component of the program to enhance the capacity and willingness of selected participants to develop entrepreneurial skills and knowledge, organize and manage their own business ventures to enable them effectively contribute job creation and economic empowerment of the youth in Zongo communities and the country as a whole. 

The training module will include, but will not be limited with, the topics such as; entrepreneurial competencies and entrepreneurship development, business ideas generation and testing, marketing strategy and selection of products, production planning and management of services and products, enterprise financial analysis, linkages with value chain actors, negotiations, partnerships and outsourcing, and preparation of the business plan. 

3.3 Provision of Short-term Entrepreneurship Support to the most promising entrepreneurs

To complete the intervention cycle, the program will provide limited financial grant assistance and short technical support services to the most innovative and feasible business ideas of the training participants.

For the limitations of the funding available, this service shall be provided to the top 10% of the beneficiaries.

 This notwithstanding, an effort shall be made to link beneficiaries to enterprise support resource partners across the country and beyond. 

The amount of grant to be administered to qualified beneficiaries shall be determined by the nature of their business ideas and the nature of funding they require.

The short-term technical support will take the form of mentorship and enterprise advisory support services.

This shall last for about 4 – 6 months depending on the type of business and investments plans submitted in the business plans of the beneficiaries.

The main of this service shall be to support participants deploy the knowledge acquired in the training fully implement their grant investment plans. 

 6. Target groups

The target participants for this training and support program shall be Young entrepreneurs in Zongo communities across the country.

The distribution shall be balanced to include, Zongo youth entrepreneurs, artisans and SME actors who either own a startup of have demonstrated interest in starting their own business or acquiring a particular vocational skill socially such as unemployed persons, women, minorities and vulnerable groups.

Beneficiaries must show evidence of interests and willingness to acquire a vocational skill and/or start their own businesses. 

 7. Key Deliverables 

Below is a list of key deliverables expected under each of the three (3) major output of the

program.

 Output 1: Vocational Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Support Needs Assessment of Selected Participants

1. Identification of 1200 Zongo Youth Entrepreneurs for Vocational Skills training and Entrepreneurship support from Zongo communities across the country

2. Comprehensive profiling of the selected 1200 Zongo Youth Entrepreneurs based on vocational skills training and entrepreneurship support needs

 Output 2: Vocational Skills Training for Selected training participants

1. Development of training modules on the identified vocational skills needs of Zongo

Youth Entrepreneurs

2. Development of the entrepreneurship support modules based on the identified entrepreneurship support needs of zongo youth Entrepreneurs

 3. Vocational skills training of the selected 1200 Zongo Youth Entrepreneurs from

Zongo communities across the country

4. Entrepreneurship and business development training of the selected 1200 Zongo

Youth entrepreneurs from Zongo communities across the country

 Output 3: Provision of Short-term Entrepreneurship Support to the most promising entrepreneurs

1. Identification of the top 10% of the most promising Zongo Youth Entrepreneurs from the training beneficiaries for enterprise grant and technical support services

2. Administration of Enterprise Grants to the Selected top 10% of the most promising Zongo entrepreneurs from the training beneficiaries

3. Provision of Short-term Technical Support Services to the selected top 10% of the most promising Zongo entrepreneurs from the training beneficiaries

 8. Expected Program Outcomes

 1. Improved understanding of vocational skills training and entrepreneurship support needs of Zongo youth

2. Improved Vocational Skills competencies among Zongo youth

3. Improved Entrepreneurial competencies among Zongo youth

 4. Facilitate Peer Networking Among Zongo Youth entrepreneurs

5. Facilitate access to entrepreneurship and enterprise support resource from resource partner in Ghana and beyond

 

 9. Expected Program Impacts 

1 Enhanced Entrepreneurial spirit among Zongo Youth

2 Enhance Job creation in Zongo communities in Ghana

3 Increased Employability of Zongo Youth

 4 Promote Socio-economic development

 5 Reduced Barriers to youth enterprise startup within Zongo Communities.