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Govt allocates GH¢60 million to assist more young entrepreneurs to fund initiatives

BY: Doreen Andoh
Dr Ibrahim Awal Mohammed (2nd right) addressing the media. Those with him are from right: Mr John Kumah, CEO of National Entrepreneur Innovative Plan (NEIP), Mr Yakubu Yussif, Programme Manager and Mr Dei Daasebre, Director of Finance, Office of the President.
Dr Ibrahim Awal Mohammed (2nd right) addressing the media. Those with him are from right: Mr John Kumah, CEO of National Entrepreneur Innovative Plan (NEIP), Mr Yakubu Yussif, Programme Manager and Mr Dei Daasebre, Director of Finance, Office of the President.

The government has initiated another entrepreneurship support programme to give young people funds to start their own businesses.

The policy is known as the presidential pitch competition for young entrepreneurs and it will be implemented annually.

It will take the form of a loan which beneficiaries would have to pay three years after allocation without interest.

Sixty Million Ghana Cedis has been allocated for the implementation of the policy in 2018 and would be scaled up in the ensuing years.

The initiative is another entrepreneurship and business support programme the government was implementing  such as the Women in Entrepreneurship Programme, under which the government has allocated GH¢10 million to support young women entrepreneurs.

Others include the National Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan (NEIP), government initiative, focusing on the provision of business development services, business incubators, and funding for youth-owned businesses and the Entrepreneurship support programme for the disabled.


Not public funds

At the launch of the policy in Accra on Tuesday, the Minister for Business Development, Dr Ibrahim M. Awal clarified that the funds for the policy was  not public funds but was raised  by from the private sector by the ministry in line with its mandate.

“We went to corporate Ghana with our proposal for funding support for innovative youth in support of the government’s private-sector driven agenda to create more jobs outside the public sector and company’s such as Bank of Africa, Gino, Interplast bought into the idea as part of the corporate social responsibilities,” he said

Details of the policy

Under the programme,  10 young people who are 35 years and below  who have  viable business ideas and innovations  will  receive startup funding  support between Gh¢10,000 and GH¢50,000 as well as technical support.

The number of beneficiaries are expected to be increased from 10 to 50 in 2019 and increased further in the ensuing years depending on the impact of the pilot this year.

He said the government introduced the module in appreciation of the challenges young people faced in their attempt to obtain bank loans to start their businesses, especially, because they often did not have collateral.

The criteria for benefiting from the policy, Dr Awal said,  were having very feasible and viable business ideas or innovations, business with the potential of scaling up in terms of employing  a couple of people, an idea that showed innovation and which had the potential to make some impact.

He underscored the need for such private sector–driven solutions considering the huge number of graduates that come out on yearly basis and the fact that the public sector was already very choked.

“It is in line with the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s commitment to support young entrepreneurs to incubate their business ideas and improve livelihoods,” he said.