A businessman and politician and Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, has urged young entrepreneurs not to rely on the support of the government to build their businesses.
He said most businesses failed to make a headway because entrepreneurs, instead of developing their products to suit the market, rather built their businesses with the expectation that the government would support them.
“This trend is dangerous, particularly in Ghana where a change of government can determine the next step of a business. It is not a secret that some businesses prosper when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is in power and others also progress when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is in power,” Dr Nduom said when he addressed students of the Mountcrest University College in Accra yesterday.
The event was organised by the Students Representative Council (SRC) of the university, in partnership with Idea Factor, a non-governmental organisation.
Dr Nduom, who owns the Groupe Nduom (GN) conglomerate, spoke to the students about how his businesses started and the challenges he faced in building each of his over 50 businesses.
He also touched on the things young businesses ought to know about being entrepreneurs.
He titled his speech: “Entrepreneurial Mind”.
Avoid short cuts
Outlining some of the pitfalls that could damage every entrepreneur’s dream, Dr Nduom said many youth attempted to build their businesses using “shortcuts”.
“I don’t know what people really mean when they say shortcut, but I can tell you that it doesn’t last. If you plan to build any business with the idea that you will go through unapproved means, you will certainly fail,” he said.
According to him, “what make a business stand are planning, focus, determination and persistence”, saying that without them, no business had a future.
Citing one of his businesses, the GN Bank, as an example, he said it took him nine years just to get a licence to operate, adding: “I was determined and persistent to get what I wanted.”
“Now the GN Bank has about 300 branches in the entire nation and this was made possible by persistence and determination,” he added.
Dr Nduom declared that building a business, especially in Africa, was no joke and that no young person should ever think it was easy.
“You need discipline and boldness to make certain decisions. You also need to prepare and take advantage of opportunities as and when they come your way,” he said.
The SRC President of Mountcrest University College, Mr Nelson Nobel Mereku, said the event was organised to enable young students to learn about the experiences of achievers.
He said most of the young students were not exposed to the challenges and potential in the business world, adding that the event would create the platform for them to be exposed and empowered.