Students and entrepreneurs in the creative arts industry at Abetifi in the Kwahu East District in the Eastern Region had the rare opportunity of exhibiting their products at the maiden edition of the Student Entrepreneurial Fair 2019.
The fair was organised by the Presbyterian University College, Ghana (PUCG) in partnership with the Kwahu East District Assembly and the Eastern /Volta branch of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).
Sixty-four entrepreneurs participated in the programme during which they displayed locally made products including clothing and fashion (African print clothes, beaded footwear, handicrafts, hand bags, caps with patches of African print), furniture, solar water heaters, processing machines and ICT softwares.
Participants were drawn from Senior High schools, technical and vocational schools.
Databank and Enterprise Life also took part in the fair to be held annually.
The fair was on the theme: “Ghana Beyond Aid: Promoting students entrepreneurial creativity and innovation among students in secondary and tertiary schools.”
The organisers explained that the fair was to encourage creativity and innovation among students and to showcase some of the young entrepreneurs on the Kwahu ridge.
Opening the fair, the Kwahu East District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr Isaac Agyepong, urged students and innovators to come out with new ideas which would help turn around the fortunes of the country’s economy.
According to him, there must be efforts to think about commercialising the innovations that had been developed in the country.
That, he believed, was in line with the government’s agenda of “One district, One factory” and “Ghana Beyond Aid.”
He urged students who had innovative ideas to send proposals to the assembly for recommendation to the 1D1F secretariat for possible financial support to enable them to set up their own business.
The President of PUCG, Rev. Prof. Adow Obeng, said for the university, entrepreneurship cut across all the programmes that were being run as it was their responsibility to ensure that all the students were exposed to such activities.
He explained that if some of the innovative ideas were properly incubated and expanded, it would go a long way to support the economy and also reduce graduate unemployment.
The Chairman, Eastern and Volta branch of the AGI, Mr Dela Gadzanku, called for sustained collaboration and described academia as an important partner in the development and set up of businesses.
He announced that the regional branch had established the Young Entrepreneurs Roundtable on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and explained that it was important for potential future leaders who were now young to incorporate the SDGs in their line of work or enterprise.
Mr Gadzanku encouraged the students to approach the National Entrepreneurship and innovation plan secretariat for support.
He also announced plans to set up incubation centres in the two regions to support upcoming young entrepreneurs.
The Eastern Regional Director of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA), Mr George Adomako, advised innovators to link up closely with the industries for the patronage of their products.