Entrepreneurs in central Mozambique want banks financing agriculture
gapi.co.mz (File photo)
“The Agro-Youth Program [Agro-Jovem] has outgrown its pilot phase and, from next May, will be extended to the whole country”, programme coordinator Rui Amaral announced following a seminar organised by Gapi with implementation partners in Maputo on March 3. Agro-Jovem is an initiative of Gapi with the support of DANIDA [Denmark’s development agency] and was launched in June 2015 by the president, Filipe Nyusi.
During the pilot phase, the Evaluation Committee received 30 proposals and approved 12 projects in Chokwe, Vanduzi, Báruè, Chimoio, Mocuba and Nampula for funding. In this first stage, with financial support from DANIDA, Gapi invested approximately 8 million meticais supporting six partners. Gapi and partners then monitored the business performance of the young people benefiting from technical and financial assistance.
The new phase of this program will begin with the inclusion of new implementation partners to give more diversity of experience and provide at least one educational institutions per province. The pilot phase involved six educational institutions and covered seven development poles in seven different provinces.
For the new phase, in addition to medium and higher level technical education institutions, Gapi has hired the specialized services of organizations such as AIESEC, Global Shapers and DevMoz. Through the involvement of these new partners, Gapi intends to make available – for both the educational institutions involved and the young people promoted by them – the experience of promoting entrepreneurship in other countries.
The March seminar focused on evaluating the pilot phase and, among other aspects, highlighted the need for more and better information. In this regard, program coordinator Rui Amaral announced that this new phase would include a website and blog to allow better exchange of information among participants.
During the meeting, Gapi Managing Director António Souto stressed the importance of this new phase, with proposal evaluation criteria that would value innovative spirit more, as well as the character of the proposer and his or her relation with the market.
“The new deals proposed by the partners and their young people will not be successful just because their projections are based on beautiful spreadsheets. The new business needs to respond to the real needs of the market. It is also essential that the young person demonstrate an entrepreneurial attitude of hard work, persistence and creativity,” he said.