The Akufo-Addo government has renamed the Youth Enterprise Support (YES) as National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Plan (NEIP).
Its Chief Executive Officer, John Kumah, confirmed the name change to class fm.
“YES has been enhanced into the new programme called the National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Plan. So there is nothing like YES again. It is now National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Plan,” Mr Kumah stated.
He noted that the idea of the NEIP is to expand the programme to accommodate all age groups and not only the youth.
“It is the same concept, just that this is an enhanced package and a bigger vehicle. Instead of focusing on only the youth…the Youth Enterprise Support, government believes that to create jobs and push enterprises in the country, it is not a question of age. Some people can be grown but have ideas to start up business and also require support… So starting a business is not a question of age even though the emphasis is always on the youth.
Although this is still emphasising on the youth, we want to remove the age limit and focus on the idea of innovation and entrepreneurship so that irrespective of your age, as long as you have a business idea to develop into an enterprise, government must be in a position to support that vision.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo launched the flagship initiative, which will be the primary vehicle for providing an integrated, national support for start-ups and small businesses in Accra on Thursday July 13, 3017.
The Plan, according to the President, will enable new businesses to emerge and give them the space to grow, to receive financing and business development services, to secure markets during the critical formative years, and to tap into a wide supply chain and network during their growth years, helping to create jobs at a widely distributed, national level.
Despite the severe constraints of the country’s public finances, resulting from years of mismanagement and corruption, Nana Akufo-Addo’s government has contributed US$10 million as seed money for the Plan.
“It is the intention that this seed money should be leveraged to raise money from private sources and public organisations to the tune of US$100 million to fund its programmes,” Nana Akufo-Addo added.
The overall objective of this Plan, the President added, is to stimulate private sector growth at the early-stages of businesses, to accelerate job creation and to provide entrepreneurial Ghanaian youth with a critical alternative to salaried employment.
He was confident that NEIP would help start-up businesses to grow and compete domestically and internationally.
In addition to providing tax incentives for start-ups owned by young entrepreneurs, NEIP will incentivise and partner private sector investors to set up business incubator hubs and industrial parks for youth-owned businesses nationally.
The Plan will also establish a Youth Enterprise Fund which will be leveraged to attract private capital to fund start-ups, and also provide a ready market for the products and services of start-ups through the reservation of a percentage of the proposed 70 per cent of local content public procurement contracts.
Nana Akufo-Addo indicated further that NEIP will implement a Buy-Local policy for ICT services from youth-owned businesses, as well as set up an Industrial Sub-Contracting Exchange to link large industries with small businesses and start-ups as a supply chain for goods and services.
“I am confident that this Plan will be made to work to provide young people with what it promises. Young people who take the risk of entrepreneurship will find that they have support through the difficult, early stages,” he said.
“I am passionate about the Plan working. I am investing a lot in it, and I have confidence in the Minister for Business Development, Ibrahim Awal Mohammed, who has devised the Plan, and will be in charge of seeing it to fruition.”