Twenty young entrepreneurs have been selected for an apprenticeship programme with some companies to improve their business skills.
Some top Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) who mentored over 300 young entrepreneurs at an online mentorship programme held in Accra, selected 20 of the mentees for the apprenticeship programme.
The business leaders and CEOs who will receive mentees in their companies are members of the Stanford Seed Transformation Network, Ghana (STN), organisers of the mentorship programme.
The CEOs will provide one-on-one as well as hands-on sessions with the mentees during the apprenticeship period and also provide practical tips and direction on how to make their budding businesses successful and sustainable.
At the mentorship programme last month, insights and real life business examples were shared by the CEOs to help mentees to appreciate the critical needs and actions required to strengthen and empower them to effectively grow and achieve success in business.
In her opening remarks, the President of the STN, Mrs Linda Yaa Ampah, noted that navigating the business world could be a very tough endeavour without insights into how businesses succeed
She said STN Ghana had therefore, developed the mentorship programme to bring veteran business people and upcoming entrepreneurs together to enable the budding entrepreneurs learn from the experience of successful business people to encourage them to succeed along their chosen paths.
The CEO of Joissam Group, Mr Sammy Appenteng, who spoke on “Entrepreneurship: What It Means and Needs”, said it was important for entrepreneurs to build technical and business knowledge in their areas of work to lay a strong foundation for their business.
“Just image and facade without knowledge do not make a successful entrepreneur. Having a clear appreciation of the business with the needed personal and business skills can help entrepreneurs succeed and sustain their businesses”, he said.
The CEO of IT Consortium, Mr Romeo Bugyei, who spoke on the “Dos and don’ts of Entrepreneurship”, advised the mentees to endeavour to undertake research in the business they sought to undertake before plunging into it.
Research, he said, was critical as it enabled entrepreneurs to know what exists in their chosen industry and the problems customers faced to enable them to begin finding and offering solutions that would translate into businesses with long term prospects for them.
“While in business, also remember to be socially responsible by paying taxes and honouring all other statutory obligations”, he told the mentees.
Speaking on “Human resource needs of entrepreneurship,” Madam Elikem Commey of Stanford Seed highlighted the need for entrepreneurs to have realistic and strong curriculum vitae (CV) and advised them to make a conscious effort to avoid the online template type of CV that did not help to reflect their true capabilities.
“Develop your CV on what you can offer rather than replicating online CV templates that everyone is using and does not help show who you are”, she said, and offered to assist the budding entrepreneurs to structure their CVs.
Madam Commey also advised the mentees to build credibility and business reputations based on integrity and honesty as these values could help them succeed and get to the top.
The CEO of Charter House, Madam Theresa Ayoade, also shared her entrepreneurial journey with the mentees, emphasising building a career that one could transform into a business.
She said it was important to have a passion for what one did to be able to successfully build a business out of what one loved.
Madam Ayoade who spoke on the topic, “Building a positive and productive career” was concerned about the current disconnect between academic curriculum and industry which creates a difficulty for students to transition from school into the world of work, and advised the young ones to research and find a passion and interest that they can learn more about and develop businesses out of.
Madam Barbara Obeng Kamara spoke on personal branding and observed that people now lived in aesthetically literate times which demanded good presentation and branding.
“Branding is a process and it takes time and practice to become noticed. Confidence is an asset but one needs the substance to walk the talk”, she said
The CEO of Type Company, Mr Coby Asmah, spoke about “Building an efficient team for my start-up”, and said workers were key players in ensuring successful and sustainable businesses, and therefore encouraged young entrepreneurs to take good care of their human resource.
A manager at Fidelity Bank - one of the sponsors of the mentorship programme - Mr Gustave Nii Ayi, informed the mentees that the bank had set up a young entrepreneurs fund to support new businesses to scale up and advised them to build positive characters and integrity which were important in attracting financial support from financial institutions.