Building path to prosperity: Entrepreneurship education, ecomomic transformation
Have you ever heard of Rohit Okhera? Once a struggling vendor in the bustling markets of India, Rohit is now a beacon of hope for his community.
His transformation from a hand-to-mouth existence to a thriving business owner was sparked by a singular event – his enrolment in an entrepreneurship education programme.
Rohit's story is a testament to the potential of entrepreneurship education to spur individual growth and economic development. But could a similar transformation occur in Ghana?
The role of entrepreneurship in the economic development of a nation cannot be overstated.
It is a key driver of innovation, job creation and economic growth.
In developing countries such as Ghana and Vietnam, entrepreneurship has been instrumental in transforming their economies.
However, the entrepreneurial landscape in these countries is significantly different, influenced by various factors such as economic policies, political stability and cultural norms.
Diagram 1: GDP Growth; Vietnam & Ghana Vs World (2019 – 2023) –by writer by writer
Impact, entrepreneurship education on economic development.
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) reports that nations with strong entrepreneurship education frameworks have witnessed a surge in start-up activity, leading to robust job creation and economic growth.
Ghana, a West African nation, has made significant strides in promoting entrepreneurship.
With about 37.9 per cent of the adult population engaged in some form of entrepreneurial activity, Ghana boasts one of the highest entrepreneurship rates in the world.
Meanwhile, the World Bank reports a 15 per cent increase in start-up activity and a 10 per cent rise in GDP in Vietnam following the introduction of entrepreneurship programmes.
Could these figures reflect a deeper truth about the power of entrepreneurship education?
Entrepreneurship & Economic Indicators (2000-2023) – by writer
Role key stakeholders
The transformation of entrepreneurship education into a powerful economic engine is not a solo act. Governments, educational institutions, the private sector, and NGOs all play their parts in creating an ecosystem that fosters entrepreneurship.
As the founder of Ashoka, Bill Drayton, puts it, "Entrepreneurship education is a team sport." But who is on this team in Ghana, and how can they play their part more effectively?
For an answer, let's turn to Chile and Malaysia, two nations where entrepreneurship education has become a powerful tool for economic development.
Chile's 'Start-Up Chile' initiative, backed by the government, has attracted a global pool of talent, leading to the creation of over 1,600 start-ups.
Similarly, Malaysia's university-based entrepreneurship programmes have spawned a host of tech start-ups, contributing significantly to the nation's digital economy.
Could Ghana be the next success story?
Impact of Climate Change
Climate change is an undeniable disruptor of economies, but it also presents a unique opportunity.
There's a burgeoning demand for 'green' entrepreneurs who can create businesses that contribute to both economic development and environmental sustainability.
Ghana, with its vast renewable resources, could be a breeding ground for such entrepreneurship.
So, what could this look like for Ghana? The National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) is a government initiative aimed at providing entrepreneurial Ghanaian youth with a conducive environment for growth.
However, following in the footsteps of Chile and Malaysia, Ghana needs to amplify its efforts in entrepreneurship education, engage all key stakeholders, and nurture climate-smart entrepreneurship.
Drawing from the success stories of entrepreneurship in both Ghana and Vietnam, it is clear that a synergy of stakeholders is crucial for fostering entrepreneurship. Policymakers, entrepreneurs, investors, and the broader community need to work together to create an environment conducive for entrepreneurship.
For Ghana, even small increases in economic freedom can stimulate entrepreneurship.
This can be achieved by implementing policies that reduce bureaucracy, improve access to credit, and promote innovation.
Additionally, fostering a culture of entrepreneurship through education and training can equip potential entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to succeed.
Rohit Okhera's story is not an anomaly; it could be Ghana's reality.
Entrepreneurship education has the potential to transform lives and supercharge economies.
For Ghana, this could be the key to unlocking untapped potential and setting the nation on a path to prosperity.
It is high time for policymakers and global leaders to heed this call and invest in building an entrepreneurial ecosystem, turning potential into prosperity.
The writer is a buisness