The Managing Director of Stanbic Ghana Limited, Kwamina Asomaning, has outlined a number of initiatives being rolled out by the bank to help solve the unemployment challenge in the country.
Key among them is the ‘Stanbic Bank Incubator’ (SBI), an entrepreneurship programme under its corporate social investment (CSI) initiatives.
This is aimed at promoting the development of entrepreneurship among the youth and women.
Speaking at the second quarter edition of the Graphic Business-Stanbic Bank breakfast meeting in Accra on June 14, Mr Asomaning said the bank was positioned to support entrepreneurs to drive their dreams which led to individual business development and the country’s overall economic growth.
The breakfast meeting attracted participants from all sectors of the economy. It was on the theme: “Tackling Unemployment to Create Wealth-Opportunities for Ghana”.
“At Stanbic, our brand centres around finding new ways to make dreams possible. The dreams of parents wanting to offer their children the best education, the dreams of graduates wanting to enter the workforce and put their newly acquired skills to good use, and equally, the dreams of the budding graphic designer, retailer or technician to catalyse their business aspirations,” he said.
He said a significant part of the business catered for the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
“In the absence of having an offer of employment from an established institution, we should expect to support those who are willing and able to create their own market place and employment opportunities.
Our clients benefit directly not just from us offering suitable financial products to support their businesses but also from us taking a genuine interest in enabling their work through skill support,” he said.
He announced that under the SBI, 47 capacity building sessions were held in 2020 that impacted a total of 2,498 participants.
He said the bank also hosted 52 coaching and mentoring sessions, where a total of 380 SMEs and startups directly benefited from the training programmes.
STEM for employment
According to Mr Asomaning, solving the unemployment problem might take its roots from how the education system prepared the youth for either structured employment or entrepreneurship.
He said science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is at the core of the bank’s CSI and contributed towards the success of those wishing to study STEM subjects and work in STEM spaces.
“We believe that with a little help from us if we can, the power to effect change and aspire prosperity is closer than we would dare to dream,” he said.
Speaking on the theme, the Managing Director of Unilever Ghana, George Owusu-Ansah, said the only way Ghana could create jobs and compete in the global environment was to set itself up and be competitive globally.
He cited the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and said that offered an opportunity to add more value to products and reposition to be able to compete.
Mr Owusu-Ansah said it was important to perfect the above to make the business of wealth and employment creation a cycle.
“Ghana cannot be left behind in the quest to create decent and well-paying jobs that create wealth and more jobs, and enhance our pride as Ghanaians,” he said.