An innovation centre to help train and provide youth interested in entrepreneurship with the requisite skills as part of efforts to enhance job creation has been opened in Tamale, the Northern Region capital.
The initiative, introduced by HOPin Academy – a non-profit educational organisation located in Tamale, is to bring together innovators, startup founders, development practitioners, researchers and entrepreneurs who are poised to apply sustainable and innovative solutions to building skills, creating jobs and providing development solutions.
The centre is open to the public 24 hours a day, comes with no charges, and provides pragmatic and innovative approaches toward exploring the various fields of entrepreneurship with the aid of technology, thus beating competition in the labour market.
The facility has a research and learning space, a recreational centre, meeting place, a playground for children, and free office space for innovators and partners among others.
The Academy since its inception in the Metropolis in 2013 has partnered with over 20 renowned corporate institutions and successfully natured over 40 startups, as well seen over a 100 community events effectively carried out to bring about development in its operational areas.
Speaking at the ceremony in Tamale, Yaw Adu-Gyamfi – Executive Chairman for HOpin Academy, commended the organisation for its initiative to build up business ideas to create more jobs and curb unemployment rates among the youths.
“We are in an era when private entities like HoPin Academy redefine the narrative on what it will take to empower young people in the Northern Region. This narrative will be based on innovation, digital technologies, entrepreneurship and sports, and how these combine effectively to create jobs and wealth,” he said.
According to him, there have been a lot of disruptions which call for a radical approach in pushing entrepreneurship, innovation and digital technologies to the front-burner, so as to open up new opportunities and, importantly, create jobs.
“Industries all around us are now being significantly disrupted and forced to re-invent themselves, both in structure and attitude. The mix of rapid changes in technology, changing consumer demands, the advent of new ways to provide development solutions, changing community values, changing demographics – and in particular the growth in millennials – are all factors driving industry disruption at an unprecedented rate; and thankfully, HOPin Academy is at the forefront of these changing dynamics,” he said.
He noted that government welcomes private sector initiatives, and is eager to work with all in creating an enabling environment for technology, innovation and sustainable solutions for development to thrive.
Executive Director of HOPin, MacCarthy Mac-Gbathy, said the Academy from humble beginnings has consistently developed strategies and programmes which provide young people opportunities to enhance their skills, start and incubate their businesses, and provide innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to addressing developmental challenges here in the Northern region.
“HOPin Academy’s business model, as part of our overall strategy as a social enterprise, is that we reinvest profits made through business and collaborative projects in empowering young people to realize their potential by providing a space for learning, idea-generation, and development of a startup entrepreneurial Eco-system as means of contributing to sustainable development in northern Ghana,” he explained.
He said the organisation is committed to engaging academia, government, the private sector and traditional authorities in this shared vision and goal as a great starting point to creating value and, more especially, jobs for young people and sustainable development solutions.