The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), Mr John Kumah has said that Ghanaian companies have lost out on the opportunity to be part of the top 200 businesses in Africa.
He explained that statistics available over the years indicated that no Ghanaian company had been named, hence the need for the youth in particular to be more proactive to make it to the list.
Addressing young entrepreneurs at the Young Entrepreneur Awards 2018 organised as part of Ghana’s first international education exhibition and idea factory ‘educataGhana 2018’ in Accra, Mr Kumah urged the youth to be more proactive and aim to be the Ghanaian representative on top of the list next year when the statistics are given for Africa businesses.
“If you are a young entrepreneur, you must aim high to make sure that in the next statistics that will be given for top business in Africa you are going to be the Ghanaian representative on the list which means that you must aim high to have a higher turnover”, he said
Mr Kumah tasked the awardees to be encouraged by what they have achieved and to spur them on to do more.
He also commended the young entrepreneurs for their efforts over the years to grow their businesses and assured them that the President was poised to help young entrepreneurs succeed in the country.
The Unemployment Challenge
Mr Kumah acknowledged the unemployment challenge facing the country and noted that one of the best ways to deal with that was through entrepreneurship.
“We know the unemployment challenges in the country and to solve them we need more talented young entrepreneurs to create the job opportunities, and so we are in full support of this event to encourage you, especially those who have been nominated”, Mr Kumah said.
He stated that over the past one year the NEIP had trained 7,000 start-up businesses in the country through the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme.
Mr Kumah added that the President had set up a seed fund of US$10 million which is being leveraged to raise additional US$100 million to support more business start-up and businesses to scale up in the country in other to help solve the unemployment challenge in the country.
He called on young entrepreneurs to take advantage of the ecosystem and make sure that they succeed because there are a lot of opportunities available to them and with determination and persistence, they will attain greater heights.
Lack of start-up capital
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Carlos Ahenkrah underscored the challenges faced by the youth with regards to start-up capital in the country.
He explained that training the youth alone was not enough but they needed the start-up capital to put their thoughts into gainful establishment.
“We appreciate you so much for this business of training up our youth as far as business establishment is concerned. However, the problem does not only lie with the skill but money to start up is very important. Unfortunately, what we lack here in our part of the world is start-up capital from banking institutions,” he said.
Mr Ahenkorah tasked donor partners and supporters to look for ways in which they can identify financing sources to assist the youth when they are being trained.
“I think what we should be considering as donor partners and supporters is to see how we can identify financing sources to assist our youth when we train them so that they will be able to develop what they have been taught into gainful establishment”, he added.
At the end of the event, 24 Young Entrepreneurs emerged winners.