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How about a GATE 'loan' for business?

what is a gate loan

Rightly so, the PM has called on youths to model themselves after youthful Olympic javelin champion Keshorn Walcott. After having achieved the dedication and commitment to the task at hand and cultivating a humble and respectful demeanour as demonstrated by Master Walcott in his victory, the target youths must then face the world of work to get on with the task of making a living.

While most will never see a handsome take in our working lives as a reward, financial success is part of the expectation in this modelling after our Olympic icon. Many will be content to just earn a good living in an honest, lawful pursuit. What is the State going to do to help our youths achieve this expectation, especially those who are not into professional sports or are academically inclined but are gifted in other skills?

The State is spending huge amounts on GATE (Government Assistance for Tuition Expenses), but not everyone is able to benefit from this academic training. What is there for the others who have natural abilities other than academics, so they, too, can benefit from the State's investment in our youths? I am speaking here of our would-be entrepreneurs who would like to make it on their own, not dependent on the Government for State-sponsored employment.

Before we cry "gimme, gimme", let us examine ourselves, less we be found wanting. The State is spending huge amounts on tertiary education, then has to turn around and provide the successful graduates a government job directly in the Public Service or State enterprises, or indirectly through a

government contractor. There should be something in place for the benefit of our non-GATE youth. Here is where the Government must make a conscious decision to intervene and help in a positive way, so our skilled workforce can be helped into private business.

It is a disincentive to production when you have a skill and cannot get the start-up capital to go it alone and must depend on an employer for a job, knowing you cannot break out of this modern bondage of working for a barely survivable wage. With more people providing goods and services for local consumption, it will be in the best interest of everyone to have more entrepreneurs in the field. And the Government will not have to provide employment for these independent producers. So it is in everyone's interest to help this new breed of entrepreneurs establish themselves a soon as possible.

This is where the State can step in to assist those who would like to access a bank loan but cannot meet the collateral required for a commercial loan although they have a viable business plan. This includes those who were not a beneficiary of GATE-sponsored tertiary education but have developed a technical or farming skill and would like to go into private business. The State can consider providing the equivalent of Gate as collateral for the commercial loan for these skilled people who need it. And remember, the Government will not have to provide direct employment for such individuals. This collateral support can be likened to teaching this person to fish, thus feeding him for life.

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