THE prime minister’s Youth Business Loan Scheme is not a loan-giving scheme but business entrepreneurs’ development scheme.
Turning a business idea into reality requires a package of support for prospective entrepreneurs and they are as follows:
a) Access to volunteer business advisors/mentors. An army of such volunteers during the first two to three years is vital. Has this been considered and readied before granting loans?
b) Training of eligible candidates after ascertaining that their business ideas are viable and self-employment is a right for them. To educate them in skills that they might need for starting and running a business. Has this aspect been considered?
c) The loan is for unemployed youth, therefore, the upper-age limit should be restricted to 32 and not 45 years.
d) YBLS should be limited to groups, e.g. educated who are skilled but unemployed; poor who are skilled but unemployed; girls who are skilled but poor, and handicapped who are skilled but unemployed.
e) Loans should be restricted to a manageable few to begin with. It should be expanded every year after refining the scheme.
f) YBLS should be funded by billions of public money and not by individuals or charities. The scheme should, therefore, be fine-tuned by related experienced professionals for its success. More importantly, it should be supervised by a non-political board of trustees and not by individuals. Honest people from business and finance should be BoT members.
It requires courage to listen and set the compass right to save the scheme from crash-landing. Jaundiced eyes are already seeing ‘Yellow cab’.
Wg Cdr (retd)