The Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkrah has stated that government is set to establish ‘Start-ups Ghana’ next month, an initiative that seeks to support entrepreneurs across the country.
According to the Minister, implementation of the initiative will begin in December 2018.
He said Government has realised that the contribution of small and medium-scale enterprises to the economy is very vital for sustainable economic growth.
The Minister revealed this at the 2nd edition of the Young Entrepreneurs’ Forum organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) under the theme: “Connect. Accelerate. Grow: Phase II”.
He said: “We’ve come to realise that in Ghana today about 80% of all the industries are made up of SMEs and their contribution to the economy cannot be overemphasized. So it is important that we do everything in our capacity to safeguard these entrepreneurs for them to build capacity and also access whatever soft loans that can keep them afloat. It is also important to mention that our youth many of which have so much talent always think that they can only make it when they get into white collar jobs.”
“What the government is going to do through the Ministry of Trade is to launch a start-up Ghana program which will be done next month and the program itself will come off before December. We want to identify all start-ups businesses in Ghana which are finding it difficult to even come out of the open and showcase their talent and creativity to the whole country and the rest of the world. We want to assist these people who, because of some small engines, are prevented to still live in their dreams to come out and also realise the dream they have.”
Mr. Ahenkrah noted that sustainability is a major hindrance to the growth and survival of start-ups in Ghana and thus government will set up hubs where entrepreneurs can use as their office to meet clients and sell their products.
He said: “Government is going to get GIPC to invest in what we call impact hubs where young guys with ideas and technology and skills but without offices could just walk in and with some small money be able to share a desk with one or two people and meet their clients, speak to them, provide them with computers and everything including internet. We are not going to relent we will follow it up with series of other ideas that we have and developing young entrepreneurs”.
“We are not going to allow these companies to die anymore. We will not allow anybody to have manufactured goods and not have off takers anymore. We are going to put it in such a way that people who enter into private practice will not be found wanting. And last but not least is that we realised that private capital for these companies is very difficult to come by,” he added.
The Young Entrepreneurs’ Forum is intended to provide a platform to continue the sensitization process of sharing GIPC’s strategy and provisions of the GIPC ACT 865, the benefits they can derive from it and create an avenue for captains of industry to interact with young entrepreneurs through building a sustained avenue for mentorship.
The two-day forum focused on promoting dialogue between young entrepreneurs and government at the highest level to influence policy formulation while providing leadership and entrepreneurship training for young entrepreneurs.
Highlights of the event included an exhibition and opportunity for 10 young entrepreneurs, to be selected by an in-house team at GIPC who shall screen all applications for the pitch and select the ten best pitches.