The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), Kofi Ofosu Nkansah, has underscored the need for a tailor-made framework to harness the power of innovation and entrepreneurship for sustainable economic growth and development.
“The innovation and start-up ecosystem is significantly different from the micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) ecosystem, requiring a tailor-made framework to make meaningful impact in the innovation space. Hence the need for more focus on innovation going forward,” said Mr. Nkansah.
In this vein the NEIP has developed a five-year strategic plan to aggressively drive the country’s innovation and entrepreneurship agenda, he explained.
He said this at the National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week Programme launch in Accra, under the theme ‘Creating sustainable development through collaborative innovation and commercialisation’. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week celebrations are expected to bring together the brightest minds and innovative ideas as part of efforts to encourage creativity in the ecosystem
“This will include many engaging programmes and initiatives designed to inspire, educate and connect aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs with the resources they need to grow,” said Mr. Nkansah.
He added that participants will also have achance to take part in interactive workshops, engaging panel discussions and thought-provoking keynotes delivered by industry leaders and experts. “They will get the opportunity to sharpen their skills, broaden their horizons and gain valuable insights into various facets of Innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Senior High School Innovation Challenge
Mr. Nkansah continued that as part of the celebrations, there will be a Senior High School Innovation Challenge – a competition that brings together students from second cycle schools across the country.
He said the challenge – which will be organised on a zonal basis with schools from various zones participating in a series of innovation challenges – will encourage students to develop innovative solutions for real-world problems, enhancing their critical thinking abilities and nurturing their entrepreneurial mindset.
“Schools which present the most innovative ideas and make it to the finals will be given awards, and will get support from NEIP to commercialise their ideas and solutions,” he added.
Innovation and entrepreneurship symposium
Again, Mr. Nkansah said there will be an innovation and entrepreneurship symposium that hosts stakeholders from academia, the innovation space, investors, entrepreneurs and policymakers among others.
There will be presentations on topics relating to innovation, intellectual property, licencing and patenting of inventions, copyrights, innovation regulation, innovation commercialisation among others during the summit, he stated.
For this event, he stated that participants will engage collaboratively, using technology over a short period of time to produce solutions for sector-specific problems.
Participants are expected to showcase their ideas in front of a distinguished panel of judges and potential investors.
“This competition will not only foster a competitive spirit in participants, but also provide invaluable exposure and networking opportunities which can transform ideas into thriving businesses,” he stated.
The NEIP Innovation and Entrepreneurship showcase
In order to create a vibrant marketplace where innovators and entrepreneurs can exhibit their innovative products and services, Mr. Nkansah plans to hold a fair on the symposium’s side-lines. The fair will showcase some of the innovative products and services from NEIP beneficiaries. “This, in the end, will spur growth of the private sector and translate into more jobs being created for the youth. After all, the most successful companies are usually the most Innovative companies,” he stated.