The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and Mastercard Foundation have initiated a programme dubbed Young Africa Works to create some 39,000 jobs for the youth through entrepreneurship.
The three-year programme is an entrepreneurship development and employment programme targeted at young people, particularly young women, in Ghana. The project falls under the NBSSI’s Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment Programme (YEEP).
There would be a regional launch of the programme and all the 180 NBSSI district offices be ready to take application. Out of the 39,000 beneficiaries, it is expected that 70 percent would be women. The programme would be executed in three folds; the Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE), Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurship (A2E) and MSME Business Acceleration (MBA).
The ICE seeks to transform skilled but unemployed young men and women into successful entrepreneurs. Participants will be trained and supported to start their own businesses and become innovative entrepreneurs.
The A2E seeks to provide unemployed young women and men, with a direct pathway to income generation opportunities through vocational/technical skills training alongside entrepreneurship development. The focus is to provide apprenticeship and practical attachment (on the job) training through NBSSI Approved Skilled Craftsmen and women.
The MBA aims at fast-tracking the growth and productivity of MSMEs in Ghana with a strong focus on women-owned and women-led enterprises. It will address the barriers and challenges that women entrepreneurs face in relation to productivity & quality, access to market, and access to finance.
The MSME Business Acceleration component of Young Africa Works seeks to achieve business growth and sustainability using three different but interlinked interventions such as Access to Market: use of digitized tools and aggregators to accelerate the growth and expansion of women-owned businesses and thereby increase their potential for job creation; Productivity and Quality Improvement: NBSSI will leverage on existing programmes such as Kaizen to provide the necessary BDS and regulatory support to MSMEs; and Access to Finance: Through partnerships with financial institutions, NBSSI will develop specific products for MSMEs to improve their chances of accessing finance to grow their operations.
A2E focuses on vocational and technical skills training for unemployed young) women and men. The aim is to provide apprenticeship and practical attachment (on the job) training through NBSSI Approved Skilled Craftsmen and Artisans (who are themselves entrepreneurs/MSMEs).
In addition to the skills training, beneficiaries will receive entrepreneurial and financial literacy training to prepare them for either gainful self-employment or salaried employment. After successfully completing their training and apprenticeship/practical attachment, participants will be supported to write the NVTI examination, supported with start-up kits, and also receive mentoring for a year. A2E will also strengthen Skilled Craft people and artisans through business acceleration programmes (mentoring, coaching, counseling). Persons interested must be unskilled young women and men between ages 16 – 35 years; they should be resident in Ghana and have an interest in acquiring a specific vocational or technical skill.
With ICE, Young Africa Works seeks to train, support, and transform unemployed young women and men into successful entrepreneurs. Through this intervention, young women and men who aspire to be entrepreneurs will be taken through the stages of effective entrepreneurship development and compete for seed funding to start their own businesses.
The training under ICE focuses strongly on developing and strengthening the innovativeness, creativity, and entrepreneurial capabilities of young women and men. To qualify, you should be a Skilled young woman or man between ages 18 – 35-years resident in Ghana. You must have a business idea or an interest in entrepreneurship; also unemployed graduates of tertiary institutions are particularly encouraged to apply.
Briefing the media on the programme, the Executive Director of the NBSSI, Kosi Yankey-Aryeh disclosed that is expected to be a game changer enhance the countries skill force. “This programme is focused on women but the men can also apply. It is focused on unemployed graduate and non-graduates as well.
We want as many people to apply but we want people who have the spirit to be entrepreneurs. We are ready with Mastercard Foundation to offer all the support needed to ensure the success of the programme across the country. If you are interested, just get to the NBSSI website look at the eligibility criteria and apply. It’s very simple and straight forward. You can apply online, print the forms and fill and submit to any of our offices or call us so we guide you to fill the forms.”