The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has entered into a partnership with four organisations to help train 102,250 young entrepreneurs across the country under the Young Africa Works project.
The four organisations, Intelligent Capital, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), She Hub, Ghana Tech Lab, are to help support and provide mentorship and build capacities of the beneficiaries to start their own businesses.
The project is a GH¢70 million entrepreneurship development and employment programme targeted at young people, particularly young women, and is being implemented by the NBSSI in partnership with Mastercard Foundation in Ghana.
Signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the four organisations in Accra, the Executive Director of NBSSI, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, observed that NBSSI envisages that effective collaboration with partners will help make the work much easier and also to achieve the overall goal of the project.
“It is on this premise that, we have decided today as we celebrate the Global Entrepreneurship Week and whiles encouraging entrepreneurship around the world, we have seized the opportunity to sign our MoU with our partners to seal our partnerships and continue to chart the development agenda of the nation.”
According to her, this year has been very uncertain for many especially due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
“The protocols that we needed to observe and the lockdown which meant that, timelines for many projects were to be affected.
“But through the dedication of my staff and implementing partners, namely; She Hub, Intelligent Capital, Ghana Tech Lab. AGI and Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) have ensured that not only did we meet some deadlines, but those activities were implemented to desired expectations and to the admiration of many.
“Amid the upheavals we are experiencing across the world, we have successfully trained 1,763 graduate apprentices of which 528 have been graduated and given start-up kits whiles the rest are yet to receive their start-up kits under our A2E Component.
“Similarly, 104 Bootcamp trainings across 54 districts have been conducted for 5,440 participants, and 3,636 beneficiaries gone through incubation under ICE and, a total number of 3,022 beneficiaries trained under MBA,” she added.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AGI, Mr Seth Twum-Akwaboah, said the AGI as an advocacy group was also committed to help develop young entrepreneurs in the country.
With a department dedicated for business development services, he stated that the AGI will continue to provide support to help start-ups to enhance their operations.
“We have a department for businesses development services and therefore any programme that support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) development is of important to us.
“That is why the NBSSI/Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works project is of interest to AGI. We are signing the MoU at a period where we have a serious challenge at hand with the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Mr Twum-Akwaboah said a new survey conducted by the AGI have showed that majority of businesses were optimistic of recovery from the devastating effects of the virus by the middle of next year.
The survey, which was aimed at assessing the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in Ghana, revealed that about 80 per cent of firms across the manufacturing, services and construction sectors expect to recover by June 2021.
About 40 per cent of the firms said they are likely to invest in the next six months. However, chances of employment in the next six months remain low, given that only 26 per cent of firms are likely to hire additional workers.