Buoyed by the success of the initiative to provide young entrepreneurs with access to funding of between GH¢10,000 to GH¢100,000 to grow their businesses, the government, through Ministry of Business Development, will make available GH¢200 million to small-scale businesses and start-ups next year, the minster responsible for its implementation, Alhaji Dr. Ibrahim Awal Mohammed has announced.
This, he said, is a reflection of the government’s commitment to reducing the employment deficit by creating direct and indirect jobs.
Delivering his address at the ‘Forty under 40’ awards ceremony held in Accra, Dr. Mohammed said, “Within the next one year, government through the Ministry of Business Development is going to roll out a GH¢200 million support programme for start-ups and small businesses in the country to expand.
“This money will go into capacity building and funding for young, small businesses to grow. We know that small businesses and start-ups constitute about 82% of all businesses in this country and they contribute immensely to the economy. We therefore cannot miss an opportunity to help them.”
Offering further insight in an interview with the B&FT after the event, the minister added: “We intend to use that fund, together with the private sector – we are working together with some banks – to build their capacity and serve as seed funding. Part of the programme will involve attaching them to some established businesses within and outside the country and over the course of three years monitor their progress.”
Buttressing points made by the CEO of the National Entrepreneurship & Innovation Programme (NEIP), John Kumah at the launch of the award scheme, Dr. Mohammed strongly urged the young entrepreneurs not to be passive but to take charge and leverage opportunities presented by access to the 1.2 billon people and US$3.3 trillion in trade investments that the impending African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Bemoaning the scant number of indigenous businesses that have transcended the lives of the founders, he noted that whilst there are many factors, it has largely been as a result of failure to plan for succession. He therefore tasked the young entrepreneurs to ensure they have valid succession plans.
“In Ghana, we are lacking generational businesses. It’s difficult to find today, any business that is over a hundred years or even 60 years old. We see that when the founders pass on, the businesses collapse.
“We cannot grow the country without generational businesses. As young business persons, start planning your succession today. We want you to take your succession plan very seriously. Don’t wait until you’re 70 or 90 years old to begin,” he stressed.
One individual who heartily shared in the sentiments expressed by the minster was Richard Nii-Armah Quaye. Whilst the night saw over 40 awards bestowed on deserving individuals, the CEO of Quick Angels Limited, won the most coveted ‘Best Among Equals’ award, in addition to a win in the investment (Finance) category.
Expressing his desire to mentor the next generation, he stated that the ongoing pandemic, though a black swan event, showed the uncertainty that comes with the terrain.
He said: “We must all prepare adequately for the storms. Resources that are made during the good times must not be expensed during the good times as have to save some for the bad times; in such an instance, you’d be able to, as it were, provide your own stimulus package for your business. That’s what I’ve done during these difficult times to overcome the challenges.”
He added that whilst entrepreneurship is being glamourised, intending entrepreneurs must not be swayed by the glitz but be made ware of the level of hard work and perseverance required.
Winners include honorary awardees for Excellence in Professional Education, Clement Kelvin Yeboah; Excellence Kufuor, Charles Quao; Innovation, Samuel Kwofie; Manufacturing of Solar Generator, Justice Ohene-Akoto; Scent Marketing, Gitta Oduma Quainoo; Humanitarian Support, Esi Esinyo Enyonam.
Competitive awardees on the night include Banking and Finance, Romeo Rich-Love Seshie; Health and Wellness, Richard Asante Yeboah; Human Resource and Development, Benjamin Larbi; Education, Caroline Adzogble; Investment (Finance), Richard Nii-Armah Quaye; Investment (Social), Adeline Akufo-Addo Kuffuor; Manufacturing, Ruth Guribie; Logistics and Supplies, Lesley Adjei Mensah; Real Estate Development / Construction, Richard Owiredu Wadie; Sales and Marketing / Advertising, Nana Micheals; Technology and Innovation, Tsonam Cleanse Akpeloo; Agriculture and Agro processing, Richard Addison; Food / Catering and Beverage, Benjamin Nii Amoo Dodoo ; Oil and Gas, Yaa Amoako -Adu .
Theatre and Arts, Latif Abubakar; Fashion, Gertrude Kunde-Kwallinjam; Hospitality, Nadia Takyiwaa-Mensah; Safety and Security, Richard Osei; Communications, Faith Senam Ocloo; Philanthropy and Non-Profit, Vanessa Gyan; Sports, Eric Jerry Aidoo; Consultancy, Nana Yaa Sarpong; Professional services, Elton Afari; Family Business, Derek Kwapong Darko ; Media (Digital and Social), Yanfo Hackman; Event Management / Planning, Georgina Emmanuella Nettey; Shipping and Maritime, Dr. Benjamin Ashitey Armah; Journalism (Radio / TV / Newspaper), Samuel Kofi Acheampong; Printing / Press and Publishing, Sylavanus Bedzrah; Telecom and Mobile, Moses Kanduri.
Software Development, Dynasto Cudzo Afedo; Social Enterprise, Victoria Naashika Quaye; Beauty and Lifestyle, Rahina Amuda; Authorship and Creative Writing, Gabriel Awuah Mainoo; Community Development, Grace Braimah; Travel and Tourism, Wisdom Mawuli Parku; 2020 Best Among Equals, Richard Nii Armah Quaye.