Business News of Wednesday, 20 December 2017
The Ministry of Business Development has estimated that it will create over 500,000 jobs within the next four years, where Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contributions will be paid for the beneficiaries.
The Minister for the sector, Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, gave this estimate at the opening of a training programme organised for some 800 start-ups who have applied to enter the NEIP Business Plan Competition, which aims at helping Ghanaian-based Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through government’s flagship programme, National Entrepreneurial Innovation Plan (NEIP).
The NEIP called for proposals for training and other forms of business support, and over 6,000 businesses and entrepreneurs put in their application for funding, with very region represented, and the training was part of the first phase which the China and European Business School (CEIBS) is facilitating the nationwide training of the applicants.
Over 6,650 applications were recorded, and the training was to train and equip applicants with the relevant knowledge to help run and expand their businesses.
Awal indicated that the applicants would use the experience and knowledge acquired from the training to equip and grow their businesses with the overall objective to create a strong economy that will create opportunities and inspire a lot more people to start new businesses.
According to Awal, over 90,000 graduates come out of the nation’s various tertiary institutions, of which only 10% get employed into the public sector, and there was therefore the need to grow businesses, equip young entrepreneurs to own their businesses, and also to employ others, all as a way reducing the country’s youth unemployment rate.
Awal noted that it is the vision of the President to build the most business-friendly and people-friendly economy in Africa, hence his decision to provide $10 million for the equipping of young entrepreneurs and businesses.
He advised applicants to be innovative, noting “the only difference between success and failure is continuous innovation. If you do not innovate you become stale, the essence to give them space to think create and share ideas to make them better”.
In a related development, the Minister launched the first co-working incubator and accelerator space under NEIP, dubbed ‘Job Station’, with a space provision by the China Europe Business School (CEIBS).
The ‘Job Station’ concept is to provide a conducive environment for young entrepreneurs to learn and share ideas, in order to grow and be creative towards their businesses.
He announced that spaces have been secured at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). “Our goal is to put up 25 ‘Job Stations’ across the country with partner institutions. Each job station will be able to host more than 100 businesses to train over 2,500 businesses when all the job stations are streamlined,” he explained.
He noted that the ‘Job Stations’ will be the ground on which the next generation of Ghanaian-international businesses will be groomed and farmed for investment, both local and foreign.
The President launched an ambitious NEIP to promote the growth and development of entrepreneurship and to accelerate job creation for national development earlier in the year.