Government, through the Ministry of Business Development, says it will create 120,000 jobs under the youth entrepreneurship programme within five years to help reduce youth unemployment and bolster the economy.
Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, the Minister for Business Development, said this at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra on Tuesday.
He said GH¢100 million has been spent so far, by government and private sector organisations in capacity-building and financial support in the past two years.
He said 19,000 young entrepreneurs and start-ups have been supported with capacity-building initiatives and funding to implement their business ideas within two years, noting that 7,000 of them were trained in 2017 and 12,000 are being trained this year.
The Minister said the government supported young entrepreneurs with various amounts ranging between GH¢25,000.00 and GH¢50,000.00 under the Presidential Support Programme, while 1,350 existing small-and-medium businesses were supported with funding between GH¢ 10,000.00 and GH¢100,000.00.
Dr Mohammed Awal said for instance, the government supported two young female entrepreneurs from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with GH¢ 60,000.00 for emerging as winners for Presidential Pitch Season Two competition this year, whiles President Akufo-Addo made a personal donation of GH¢40,000.00 to the winners.
He said the first runner-up and second runner-up received GH¢35,000.00 and GH¢40,000.00 respectively, while the other seven contestants received GH¢25,000.00 each to make real their innovative business ideas and create jobs.
He said there would not be inclusive development without supporting Persons with Disability (PWDs), and government is mentoring and supporting up to 1,000 female PWDs with various forms of financial support and that 100 of them received funding this year.
He said the Ministry has a Monitoring Unit to monitor the business activities of the beneficiaries and announced that it witnessed a 70 per cent recovery rate from those who received financial support last year.
The Sector Minister said government has established entrepreneurship clubs in schools to mentor and support students with entrepreneurial ideas at the second cycle and tertiary education institutions, to implement their business ideas when they complete their various courses.
He said the Ministry’s core mandate was to build an entrepreneurial culture in young people so as to create jobs and alleviate poverty in the society.
It is the intention of government, he said, to build 20 world-class businesses in the country in the next five years, who could rub shoulders with global brands.
Dr Mohammed Awal, therefore, expressed government’s delight that the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) has established an office in Accra, to mentor, provide funding for innovative business entrepreneurs and link them up with global business conglomerates, through industrial attachments to gain experience.
The GBAF is an affiliate partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion with the ultimate goal of supporting businesses and entrepreneurs to access financial services and create jobs.
The WBAF, he said, offered investment packages ranging between 30 and 50 billion dollars every year, to budding businesses globally and the presence of the organisation in the country would help the cause of government’s entrepreneurship agenda.