Over 2,000 participants were trained under the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) Business Plan Competition from the 8th to 12th of January 2017 within the Northern Sector. The event was launched on the 18th of December 2017 in Accra by the Minister of Business Development, Ibrahim Awal.
The NEIP Business Plan Competition is being organised by the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), together with its Private Sector Implementation Partner (PSIP), African SME Organisation; and the Academic Partner-China Europe Internal Business School(CEIBS).
Training began in the Greater Accra Region on the 18th of December 2017 with a total number of 750 participants trained, followed by 5 regions within the Northern sector. These included Tamale in the Northern Region with 452 businesses trained; Wa in the Upper West Region, 97; Bolgatanga in the Upper East, 166; Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region, 407; and Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, 1152.
This was aimed at thoroughly training applicants with knowledge to fine-tune their businesses and develop a business plan that would attract both local and foreign investors.
This was also to aid applicants run sustainable and independent businesses. Representatives of Ghana’s government launched the training in various regions during the opening ceremonies, with remarks by representatives from the Ministry of Business Development and the Private Sector Implementation Partner, African SME Organisation.
For the Northern sector, training began in Tamale on the 8th of January with over 452 businesses present. This was held at the Radach Lodge and Conference Centre for applicants from the Northern Region.
The regional Minister for Tamale, Salifu Saed, launched the training with remarks from the CEO of African SME Organisation (PSIP) Yaw Asamaoh.
Mr. Yussif Yakubu, the programme’s manager for the Minister of Business Development, delivered the keynote address on behalf of the minister, Mohammed Ibrahim Awal.
Mr. Yussif Yakubu stressed the importance of SMEs and their contribution to the country’s development. He also mentioned that despite the immense contribution this sector makes to the development of this country, many SMEs are faced with numerous challenges – of which access to capital is a crucial one. It is on this basis that government has launched the the NEIP initiative.
The Upper West and Ashanti Regions followed on the 10th . Over 97 businesses were trained at GNAT Hall in Wa. A representative of the Regional Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Abdulai (Regional Coordinating Director), launched the training with remarks from Prof Matthew Tsamenyi of CEIBS.
Alhaji Abubakar Abdulai spoke about how crucial it is for young entrepreneurs, existing and non-existing businesses – both traditional and Innovation Driven Enterprises – to receive adequate training that equips them with the required tools to enable them meet world standards.
Participants interacted with facilitators during the question and answer sessions. Among essential questions asked was: “If participants are unsuccessful in progressing to the next level, will they receive feedback as to where they fell short?”
A total number of 1,152 participants were trained in Kumasi at the Saarah Mensah
Auditorium Business School of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The Communication Specialist for the Ministry of Business Development, Mr. Kofi Twum- Boafo represented the ministry and delivered the keynote address on behalf of the sector minister, Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, together with Nana Bafuor Agyei Kesse IV – the Adumhene of Kumasi who represented Otmfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, as guest speaker for the event. Other traditional leaders of the Ashanti Region were also present.
The Kumasi training’s ending was climaxed with many success stories – of which Odei Artta, founder of Artta Junior Footwear, is one. Odei spoke about how useful the information was for his business. According to him, though he was a business student he has received additional information to make a series of changes to his business plan to meet world standards.
166 entrepreneurs in the Upper East Region also received training on the 12th of January at the Tap Hotel.
The Regional Coordinating Director, Alhaji Chief Mahamadu Azonko Assibi, launched the training programme on behalf of the Regional Minister for Bolgatanga, Rockson Ayine Bukari.
Addressing the opening session in Bolgatanga was the programme Manager of the Ministry for Business Development, Mr. Yakubu Yussif. Following the successful first-phase of the
initiative, many participants spoke about the training’s success. Richard Abogre, a director for an IT-based company, spoke about how much information he had received on funding for his business because he is looking to scale-up.
Dorcas Afore is the CEO of Advocacy for Social Inclusion in Girls Education, which is involved in crafts and currently into basket-weaving. Dorcas says she has received the right skills to prepare a good business plan in order to scale-up.
About 407 applicants were trained at the GNAT Hall in Sunyani of the Brong Ahafo Region.
The Programmes Manager, Kojo Frimpong, gave the keynote address on behalf of the Minister for Business Development.
Deputy CEO for NEIP, Statsy Ofei-Darko, encouraged the entrepreneurs on the need to take advantage of the initiative to develop their businesses. She said in her speech: “This is a great opportunity to showcase the viable business ideas we have in Ghana”.
Ellen Darko from Sunyani testified how beneficial the training was to her. Ellen is an MBA holder and marketing professional, currently practicing with a tertiary institution. She spoke about how the training brought to light the practicality of her job, which she intends implementing at her school – Nelles Educational.
The NEIP Business Plan Competition training will continue over the coming weeks in other regions – including the Western, Eastern, Central, Volta and Greater Accra Regions. Applicants will receive a detailed e-mail and text message with more information on the training. This will be sent to the contact information provided by applicants on the NEIP Business Plan Competition form,which was to be submitted during the Call for Proposals.