Top Ghanaian CEOs who mentored over 300 young entrepreneurs at an online mentorship programme held in Accra, have selected twenty of the mentees for an apprenticeship programme with their companies to improve their business skills.
The business leaders and CEOs who will receive mentees in their companies, are members of the Stanford Seed Transformation Network, Ghana (STN), organisers of the mentorship programme. The CEOs will provide one-on-one as well as hands-on sessions with the mentees during the apprenticeship period and also provide practical tips and direction on how to make their budding businesses successful and sustainable.
At the mentorship programme, insights and real-life business examples were shared by the CEOs to help mentees to appreciate the critical needs and actions required to strengthen and empower them to effectively grow and achieve business successes.
In her opening remarks Mrs. Linda Yaa Ampah, President of the Stanford Seed Transformation Network, noted that navigating through the business world can be a very tough endeavor without insights into how businesses succeed
STN Ghana has therefore developed the mentorship programme to bring veteran business people and upcoming entrepreneurs together to enable the budding entrepreneurs learn from the experience of successful business people to encourage them to succeed along their chosen paths.
Sammy Appenteng, CEO of Joissam Group, who spoke on “Entrepreneurship: What It Means and Needs”, said it is important for entrepreneurs to build technical and business knowledge in their areas of work to lay a strong foundation for their business.
“Just image and facad without knowledge does not make a successful entrepreneur. Having clear appreciation of the business with the needed personal and business skills can help entrepreneurs succeed and sustain their businesses”, he said.
Mr. Romeo Bugyei, CEO of IT Consortium, who spoke on the “Do’s and don’ts of Entrepreneurship”, advised the mentees to endeavour to undertake research in the business they seek to undertake before plunging into it.
Research, he said, was critical as it enables entrepreneurs to know what exists in their chosen industry and the problems customers face to enable them to begin finding and offering solutions that will translate into businesses with long term prospects for them.
“While in business, also remember to be socially responsible by paying taxes and honoring all other statutory obligations”, he said.
Madam Elikem Commey of Stanford Seed, spoke on “Human resource needs of entrepreneurship”. She highlighted the need for entrepreneurs to have realistic and strong CVs and advised them to make a conscious effort to avoid the online template type of CV that do not help to reflect their true capabilities.
“Develop your CV on what you can offer rather than replicating online CV templates that everyone is using and does not help show who you are”, she said and offered to assist the budding entrepreneurs to structure their CVs.
Madam Commey also advised the mentees to build credibility and business reputations based on integrity and honesty as these values can help them succeed and get to the top.
Madam Theresa Ayoade, CEO, Charter House also shared her entrepreneurial journey with the mentees emphasising on building a career that one can transition into a business. She said it was important to have a passion for what you do to be able to successfully build a business out of what you love.
Madam Ayoade who addressed the topic, “Building a positive and productive career” was concerned about the current disconnect between academic curriculum and industry which creates a difficulty for students to transition from school into the world of work and advised the young ones to research and find a passion and interest that they can learn more about and develop businesses out of.
Madam Barbara Obeng Kamara, spoke on personal branding and observed that people now live in aesthetically literate times which demands good presentation and branding.
“Branding is a process and it takes time and practice to become noticed. Confidence is an asset but one needs the substance to walk the talk”, she said.
Mr Coby Asmah, CEO of Type Company, spoke about “Building an efficient team for my start-up” and said workers of entrepreneurs are key players in ensuring successful and sustainable businesses and encouraged young entrepreneurs to take good care of their human resource.
Mr Gustave Nii Ayi, a manager at Fidelity Bank, one of the sponsors of the mentorship programme, informed the mentees that the bank has set up a young entrepreneurs’ fund to support new businesses to scale up and advised them to build positive characters and integrity which are important in attracting financial support from financial institutions.