One thousand, three hundred and fifty (1,350) businesses, from all ten regions of the country, are the first beneficiaries of the Presidential Business Support Programme, an initiative of the Akufo-Addo Government.
Each of the 1,350 beneficiaries are to receive, from the Ministry of Business Development, continuous training and capacity building, mentorship and business advisory services, free accounting services, access to business networking opportunities, and, seed capital ranging from GH¢10,000 to GH¢100,000 each.
Speaking at the event on Tuesday, 7th August, 2018, at Jubilee House, the seat of the nation’s Presidency, the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, noted that over the past two decades, the countries that have made rapid economic strides have been the ones that have encouraged high levels of investment in entrepreneur development.
It was, thus, a happy-sad moment for the President when he learnt that seven thousand (7,000) micro, small and medium sized businesses applied for support under the Presidential Business Support Programme.
“Happy, because I was encouraged by the numbers of young Ghanaians wanting to start their own businesses. And, sad, because not all of them would be beneficiaries of this programme,” he said.
Nonetheless, all the 7,000 businesses underwent a well-structured training programme to build their managerial capacities for their various ventures, with the training programmes conducted in fifty (50) private incubation hubs across the country.
The successful 1,350 winners, according to President Akufo-Addo, were competitively selected upon the recommendations of the private incubation hubs in a transparent, efficient and equitable manner.
“This, I am confident, will guarantee the success and sustainability of the businesses, especially as the rate of interest on the monies advanced has been pegged at 10%, as against the average prevailing market rate of 26%,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo congratulated the selected businesses for not giving up but working hard to meet the set criteria, and urged them to seize the opportunity provided by the Programme, and demonstrate their entrepreneurial ability.
“To the unsuccessful applicants, I wish them the very best of luck in their future endeavours. Surely, this is not the end of the journey. As I have said before, my late beloved mother, Yeboakua, taught all her children, principally myself, her first born, that if, at first, you try and don’t succeed, try, try, and try again.’ They will have another opportunity next year to give it another shot, should they so wish,” the President added.
With the selected 1,350 businesses receiving training and support, President Akufo-Addo urged them to “create some thirty thousand (30,000) direct jobs within the next year, and several thousands of indirect jobs.”
The President assured the Ghanaian people and the business community that his government will continue to work towards the creation of a conducive environment for the private sector to thrive, stressing that “our macroeconomic indices point to the revitalization and growth of the economy.”
With an impressive array of business people poised to make a difference, the President was confident that “our nation is on the cusp of a new, bold beginning, which will repudiate the recent culture of failure. Go out there and make us proud.”
In his remark the Minister for Business Development Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal hinted that Ghanaians especially the youth have now develop interest in creating businesses as a result of the President’s incentive to businesses.
According to him, startups and entrepreneurs have the belief that, the Government under the able leadership of the President is willing to give them all the necessary support to grow their businesses and as well compete globally.He noted that his ministry has this year alone set up six initiatives aimed at nurturing young entrepreneurs in the country.
One out of six initiatives under his Ministry, the School Entrepreneurship Programme Dr. Awal said, the aim is to “affect 10,000 senior high schools and universities with entrepreneurship bag so that we change the narrative from job seekers to job creators”.
He said in line with government’s agenda to make the Ghanaian economy an inclusive one, his ministry is in the process of setting up another initiative, dubbed Youth in Industry, where some 42 micro industries will be set up across the country to employ people.
Some of the initiatives, he said, comprise a Zongo Business Initiative, Women in Business Support Programme, among others, aimed at creating a truly inclusive economy.
The Presidential Business Support Programme, under the auspices of the Ministry for Business Development, is a government initiative aimed at assisting Ghanaian businesses with business advisory and funding to scale up and create jobs.
The initiative is in fulfillment of the President’s commitment to support small businesses, which constitute over 80 per cent of all businesses in the country to become competitive and contribute to the socio-economic development.
The Chief Executive Officer of the NEIP, Mr. John Kumah, reiterated that the programme has since its inception sought to empower early startups and businesses as part of government’s agenda of entrepreneurship development in the country