The Youth Employment Agency (YEA) has announced the successful rollout of its Business and Employment Assistance Programme (BEAP) with 1,452 businesses, aimed at bolstering Ghana’s economic recovery post-COVID-19. The announcement was contained in a statement released by Kwasi Afriyie, Director of Corporate Affairs at YEA. The statement indicated that BEAP, designed to support 10,000 Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and startups severely impacted by the pandemic, began with 1,452 businesses. It explained that these 1,452 businesses constitute the first phase of the BEAP initiative, with more businesses set to be added every month. Sustainability  According to the statement, in its effort to sustain the initiative, BEAP commenced payments to the 1,500 beneficiaries verified under the programme. These individuals, as explained in the statement, had been strategically placed within “various sectors such as chop bars, pharmacies, and schools, receiving vital salary support amidst ongoing economic challenges.” “The disbursement of payments to the first 1,500 verified BEAP beneficiaries marks a significant milestone in YEA’s efforts to alleviate unemployment and support struggling enterprises. The programme, offering GHS 500 per recruited employee with additional employer contributions, aims to mitigate financial strains faced by businesses highlighted in a recent survey by the Ghana Statistical Service,” the statement noted. The statement further stressed that BEAP not only provides a lifeline to SMEs but also aims to foster employment opportunities across Ghana, targeting a total of 20,000 beneficiaries as part of its broader initiative. Commitment  It reaffirmed YEA’s commitment to utilizing sustainable funding from the Communication Service Tax exclusively for job creation and economic empowerment initiatives. “In addition to BEAP, the YEA has been instrumental in various employment and skills training programmes, collaborating closely with state agencies to enhance community services, healthcare, and vocational training opportunities. Targeting various establishments such as chop bars, pharmacies, schools, and more, BEAP strives to alleviate the financial burden on these enterprises while bolstering employment opportunities for Ghana’s workforce,” it added.