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NBSSI supports 70 young entrepreneurs

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh (right) presenting baking ware to one of the beneficiaries of the programme.

About 70 young entrepreneurs in Accra have benefited from an intensive hands-on-skill training in hairdressing, general electricals, welding, barbering and catering to enable them to patronise their chosen vocation.

The beneficiaries were handed certificates of completion, materials and equipment to help them start-up their own businesses in order to create jobs.

The training which lasted between six months and three months was under the Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurship (A2E) of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and Mastercard Foundation.

Speaking at the A2E Graduation Ceremony and Presentation of Start-up Kits on October 22 in Accra, the Executive Director of the NBSSI, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, said the beneficiaries were trained in their various choice of vocation at no cost and that the training depended on their choice of skills.

It was on the theme, Creating Dignified and Sustainable Works for Ghana’s Young People.”

She said the Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurship module under the Mastercard/NBSSI Young Africa Works project has the target to reach 39,000 youth across the country in the next two years.

She said the programme consists of three main interventions, including Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) which aims to transform young people, especially young women into successful, creative and innovative entrepreneurs.

“In 2019, the NBSSI and Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works solidified a partnership to create fulfilling and dignified work for Ghana’s Young People and was launched in June 2020.

“This project falls under the NBSSI’s Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment Programme and was launched in June 2020.

“The Project consists of three main interventions, including: Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE), Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurship (A2E), MSME Business Acceleration (MBA),” she added.

Sustainable jobs

Mrs Yankey-Ayeh noted that the government committed to its agenda of providing Ghana’s youth with decent, dignified and sustainable jobs.

She said since 2017 the NBSSI has created over 18,600 jobs, 61 per cent of these figures are females.

“Today’s event is a symbolism of this commitment as we mark a very important dispensation of the NBSSI and Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works Project.

“We are here to celebrate 70 beneficiaries who have successfully undergone training under the A2E component and to also provide them with Start-up Kits to enable them start their own businesses,” she stated.

According to her, the beneficiaries received training in hairdressing, baking and confectionery, sewing and welding.

“I will encourage the beneficiaries to put the items into good use,” she added.

Commitment

An Official of the Mastercard Foundation, Ms Barbara Ghansah, said her office was committed to support young entrepreneurs to set-up their own businesses.

“We are very excited to see young entrepreneurs graduate from Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurship (A2E) of the National Board for Small Scale Industries and Mastercard Foundation,” she said.

She said the Young Africa Works Project aimed at focusing on finding solutions to the youth employment challenge and reducing poverty in Africa.

“The Mastercard Foundation’s new strategy, Young Africa Works, outlines how, over the next decade, we will focus on finding solutions to the youth employment challenge and reducing poverty in Africa.

“When young people can secure formal work and a steady wage their lives improve. Employment, particularly formal employment, is a leading pathway out of poverty for families.

“Using youth employment as a measure of our progress, we will work to help millions of young people find a pathway out of poverty. Our work will ensure 30 million young people in Africa, particularly young women, secure dignified and fulfilling work.”

A Beneficiary of the programme, Ms Comfort Mowunu, expressed excitement about the training.

“On behalf of myself and my colleagues we are grateful for the opportunity to learn and upgrade our skills. We are ready to set-up our own business,” she added.