Entrepreneurs asked to engage with politicians

BY: Seth J. Bokpe
Prof. Adjepong (right) chatting with some participants in the programme. Picture: EMMANUEL QUAYE

Entrepreneurs have been urged to engage more with politicians and policy makers to create a more conducive environment for their businesses, a Korean educationist, Prof. George Kim, has said.

“They must talk to politicians who are not aware of the challenges of entrepreneurs because they are not interested in starting businesses.

“It is the entrepreneur’s job to let politicians know that a conducive environment is necessary for business and economic growth.  An economic environment full of successful entrepreneurs makes society stable and violent-free.

Prof. Kim, who was speaking at the opening ceremony of this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Training (GET) in Accra recently said entrepreneurship was a lot wider than most people thought.

“People think it is just about starting a new company. If you define it like that, it is application to only a small set of people. It is a broader concept that, it is about creating something out of nothing under given conditions.”

The GET organised by Korea’s Handong Global University in partnership with the Methodist University College, Ghana (MUCG),  is to help build capacity and build entrepreneurship development in Ghana and the West African sub-region.

According to GET statistics, some 2,500 people have graduated from the training programme across the world.

Entrepreneurship and culture

In Ghana, experts say entrepreneurship is a hard nut to crack because of reasons, such as lack of capital, high interest rates, inadequate support for startups and the lack of entrepreneurship in an educational curriculum system that trains people for the job market rather than to create their own jobs.

But Prof. Kim said entrepreneurship was about creative mindset and not knowledge. A mindset that, he said, had developed advanced economies and acted as an engine to push those countries economic growth.

He, therefore, urged the government to encourage entrepreneurship by enforcing laws that would make the business environment conducive for entrepreneurs.

Policy makers

In a welcome address, the Principal of the MUG, Rev. Prof.  Samuel K. Adjepong, observed that entrepreneurship “drives economic change and innovation while at the same time expanding opportunities and unleashing the initiative of citizens.

“Entrepreneurs are crucial to building prosperous societies that deliver opportunity to all.  In emerging economies around the world, interest in entrepreneurship is currently higher than ever amid burgeoning youth populations and a desire to move up value chains.”

He, however, observed that in many developing economies including Ghana, obstacles in the business environment close off entrepreneurial opportunities to majority of the population.

“These barriers add to the usual challenges that entrepreneurs face with regard to capacity, financing and market access.”