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Business Devt Ministry works on policy - Efforts to address entrepreneur difficulties...

BY: Doreen Andoh
Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal (right), Minister of Business Development, addressing participants in the ceremony. Pictures: EDNA ADU-SERWAA
Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal (right), Minister of Business Development, addressing participants in the ceremony. Pictures: EDNA ADU-SERWAA

The Ministry of Business Development is developing a national entrepreneurship policy to help address most of the difficulties faced by entrepreneurs.

It has started the process by successfully initiating a draft document of the policy.

The ministry, as part of its broader stakeholder engagement in the development of the policy, has met with stakeholders in the private sector, including the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and the Private Enterprise Federation, to introduce them to the document and solicit their inputs to fine-tune it.

The overall aim of the policy include to create and strengthen the entrepreneurial environment in the country to make the sector robust, attractive, favourable and viable.

Forum

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In his opening remarks at the stakeholder forum in Accra yesterday, the Minister of Business Development, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, said the government had identified entrepreneurship as a key tool for job creation, sustainable national development and demographic dividends.

He noted that while more than 80 per cent of businesses in the country were small and micro, contributing about 70 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and owned by young people, they continued to operate in a difficult environment.

He said such difficulties made entrepreneurship not a favourable option, deterring young innovative business-minded young people from taking the risk of starting their own businesses.

"This policy, therefore, seeks to provide pragmatic solutions to the difficulties entrepreneurs face, including financing, marketing and business support services," he said.

Dr Awal said the creation of the Business Development Ministry was a demonstration of the government's commitment to ensuring a robust, sustainable, favourable and viable entrepreneurial sector.

The minister said commitment had also been demonstrated in supporting 1,350 young people with a startup of Gh¢100,000 each in 2018.

“The number will be scaled up to 3,000 this year. All these are to help build the confidence of the youth in entrepreneurship," he added.

He emphasised that entrepreneurship was the way to go because the public sector was already choked and was able to absorb only 10,000 out of the 120,000 graduates the educational sector churned out each year.

Dr Awal expressed optimism that the policy would contribute immensely to boost entrepreneurship in the country and thanked all stakeholders for their support, particularly, the BUSAC fund for sponsoring the forum.

“Government cannot do it all alone so we need all hands on deck to create an enabling micro and macro business environment,” he said.

Stakeholder support

The Chief Executive Officer of the Private Enterprise Federation, Nana Osei Bonsu, commended the Ministry of Business Development for the Initiative and underscored its importance to the micro business environment.

He said development had to go beyond just job creation to highlighting wealth creation in order to make the desired impact.

“This policy, if made practical, both in its nature and implementation would be able to highlight wealth creation rather than just job creation,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of the AGI, Mr Seth Twum Akwaboah, said although most young businesses were struggling, they had not folded up and, therefore, such a policy would facilitate the harnessing and maximisation of the potentials of those businesses for national development.

He commended the ministry for the wide stakeholder engagement and said that would help to produce a comprehensive national document all stakeholders could identify with.

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