GEA, Mastercard Foundation to create 39,000 jobs

BY: Maclean Kwofi
GEA
Ms Philomena Norman,acting Director, Women Entrepreneurship, GEA

The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation is facilitating the creation of some 39,000 jobs for the youth in three years.

Of the total, 70 per cent of the beneficiaries will be females and will be supported with dignified and fulfilling jobs.

The project implementation which is currently ongoing is in three components consisting of Innovative, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE), Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurship (A2E) and the Micro Small Medium Scale Enterprise (MSME) Business Acceleration components.

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GEA mandate

Speaking at the Springboard-Ghana Cares Youth Dialogue programme at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), the acting Director in-charge of Women Entrepreneurship at GEA, Ms Philomena Norman, stated that the agency was mandated to provide financial and non-financial support services to small businesses or young entrepreneurs.

She said under the non-financial services the agency was partnering with Mastercard Foundation to support 39,000 youth to be able to have access to dignified and fulfilling jobs.

She stated that the project was in search of people within the ages of 16 to 35 years to take advantage of the opportunity.

“We have it in three components including Innovative, Creativity and Entrepreneurship, Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurship and the Micro Small Medium Scale Enterprise Business Acceleration components.

“We have other programmes that focus on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

“And so, those in vocational training are not left out and they are provided with the skill needed and when they are done, they are provided with startup kits to start their own business,” she said.

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The project

According to her, this project enables the youth to enter into employment by providing links to job opportunities.

“Once you have the idea to start your business, we take you through what we call incubation and prototype and boot camp programmes.

“Where you are supported to nurture your business idea and make it a reality and then you are supported with seed funds as well,” she stated.

The provision of decent jobs for young people was a major component enshrined in the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to assist and guide member states as they delivered on their respective mandate.

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The dialogue

The programme, which was on the theme: “Opportunities for Ghana’s youth under the Ghana-CARES Programme”, brought together hundreds of tertiary students, graduates and youth groups from the formal and the informal sectors.

The list of participating youth groups and institutions included the University of Ghana Business School, the Pentecost University College, UPSA, the Methodist University College, the Wisconsin University and the Academic City University.

Others are the National Service Personnel Association (NASPA), the Design & Technology Institute (DTI), the Tema Technical Institute, the YIEDIE Youth Association and the Opportunities Industrialisation Centre, Ghana (OICG).

The rest are the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), the Artisans Association of Ghana (AAG) and the Mastercard Foundation.