Entrepreneurship: A way out of the unemployment trap? 


“Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary” – Steve Jobs.

When I started my braiding business, I honestly did not think much of it. I just woke up one morning, took some money from my purse, and headed straight to Makola market to buy the items I listed on a piece of paper. My friend asked if I was doing okay because I looked different that morning. I told her not to worry and took off to the market.

I got back to my hostel with braiding combs, hair gel, a mannequin head, braiding hair, and a plastic table. I went to the market with GH¢500 and that’s how I started braidsbyteena. As a second-year journalism student at that time, I chose to open my own business not only because of the money it came with, but also the love I had for braiding.

Who is an entrepreneur?

Adams Hayes defines an entrepreneur as: “An individual who creates a new business, bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards. The process of setting up a business is known as entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator, a source of new ideas, goods, services, and business or procedures”.

Setting up a new business is not an easy thing; most especially, if you have no idea how to begin. Nothing comes easy. Sometimes you have to create the opportunity yourself.

There are numerous definitions of entrepreneurship that talk about taking a financial risk. This is true. Beginning a new business is a risk you are taking. I call it a risk because you have no idea how it will turn up; and by not beginning, you will never know. As an entrepreneur, failure should always be a lesson learned and not something to fear.

I know you have heard of graduates complaining of unemployment in Ghana. A report by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) states that Ghana recorded a 13.9 percent unemployment rate in the second quarter of 2022.

The Annual Household and Expenditure Survey (AHIES) disclosed that the unemployment rate rose from 13.4 percent to 13.9 percent. This is to say 1.8 million people out of the 13 million people who are of working age (15years and above), in the second quarter of the year 2022, were unemployed.

Funded by the World Bank, the Annual Household and Expenditure Survey (AHIES) is under the Harmonising and Improving statistics in West Africa project. The unemployment rate can decrease when people venture into entrepreneurship instead of waiting to be employed by the government or other companies.

Importance of entrepreneurship 

One major importance of entrepreneurship is the fact that it creates job opportunities. Entrepreneurs, aside from earning money for themselves, can also employ other individuals to work for them. You can be that person.  Entrepreneurship improves an individual’s standard of living. You can change your standard of living when you become an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship causes development in the community or country at large. This is to say that as an entrepreneur, you don’t only make money for yourself but you also tend to help bring positive changes to your community by assisting and uplifting individuals with common goals and interests.

Another major thing entrepreneurship does is that it increases and creates wealth in the nation. Imagine all the 1.8 million unemployed Ghanaians starting their own business and making money for themselves. The country will greatly benefit from it. These and many more are all the benefits entrepreneurship comes with. Deciding to work for yourself by doing what you are good at can change your economic, status as well as the people around you, and your country at large.

“On my own, I will just create and if it works, it works, if it doesn’t, I will create something else. I don’t have any limitations on what I think I could do or be.” Oprah Winfrey.

>>>the writer is a student of Journalism at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ). Email [email protected]

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