Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah has said that youth entrepreneurship was high on the NPP-Government’s agenda as a means to boost competitiveness and employment in that young entrepreneurs have the potential to build a new economic dynamic generating growth and jobs.
He indicated that the Government of Ghana over the years has given attention to entrepreneurship promotion that focuses attention on creating a more enabling environment to support youth entrepreneurship.
“As a Government, that has a youth agenda as a priority, we have ensured initiatives with career guidance on entrepreneurship support and the transition from education to start-up and beyond”, he stressed.
He added that as such, there has also been the promotion of policy dialogue on education, business and banking communities to close the gap in access to finance.
This was contained in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Frederick Agyemang, Western Regional Coordinating Director at the opening session of the 17th Electrical Wiring Certificate Awards Presentation Ceremony held in Takoradi.
These initiatives serving entrepreneurs include the National Entrepreneurship & Innovation Programme (NEIP), a flagship policy initiative of the Government of Ghana whose primary objective is to provide integrated national support for start-ups and small businesses.
The NEIP, he said, primarily focuses on providing business development services, startup incubators and funding for young businesses to enable them to grow and become successful.
It is also set within the context of Ghana’s long-term strategic vision of consolidating its middle-income status and building an industry-driven economy capable of providing decent jobs that are suitable and sustainable for development.
Other initiatives geared towards building and empowering entrepreneurs are the Youth in Innovative Agriculture Programme, the Presidential Pitch which is an initiative to offer young entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their business ideas and the Skills Training Center which is a platform for entrepreneurs and the youth.
Mr Darko-Mensah hinted that the current report in the mid-year budget outlined that, since March 2022, the Government has successfully piloted the ‘YouStart’ programme and over 70 participants across the country.
These participants, he said, have gone through a two-week mandatory training to equip them with the requisite skills in entrepreneurship, financial management, good corporate governance, marketing and customer service among others.
A total amount of GH¢ 1.98 million was disbursed under the pilot to 46 individuals and eight (8) Associations/Groups (with membership between 6 and 45) based on specific needs to enable them to scale up their businesses and contribute to the job creation agenda of the Government.