Dr Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, the Minister of Business Development, has said the government would deepen the entrepreneurship culture of the country, and, therefore, urged young people not to fear to start their own businesses.
He said one challenge in Ghana was that 75 per cent of businesses set up did not survive beyond three years because the owners lacked mentorship, funding and innovation.
He said the ministry had identified three key challenges facing the youth in Ghana: difficulty in accessing business advisory and innovation services, access to affordable funding, and access to markets.
In that regard, he said, government had established the National Entrepreneurship Division Plan (NEDP), which would provide business advisory services to young entrepreneurs.
Dr Awal made the remarks when he met 250 young entrepreneurs at the Youth Entrepreneurship Forum at the Accra Digital Centre, in Accra, on Friday, on the theme ‘Inspiring Youth Entrepreneurship’.
The forum was jointly organised by the National Youth Authority and the Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (NYA-CAYE), to discuss Ghana’s economic challenges and measures government is putting in place to create job for the youth.
The forum brought together chief executive officers of some state institutions, including the Registrar General’s Department, Food and Drugs Authority, the Ghana Revenue Authority, National Youth Authority, and Venture Capital, Accra Digital Centre, to answer questions bothering the minds of young entrepreneurs.
Dr Awal said the NEDP, last year, offered advisory services to more than 7,000 young business owners and would offer financial advisory services to between 500 and 1,000 entrepreneurs on mentorship for the next three years.
“The Ministry of the Business Development is your servant; let’s work together; we can do it, and [I] assure you that NEDP offices are always open to assist you and provide advisory services,” he said.
Dr Awal said there were three modules under the NEDP – Women Entrepreneurship, Youth Entrepreneurship and Physically-Handicapped Business People – and assured that government would support the youth that fall under any of the three categories.
Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah, the Minister of Youth and Sports, commended Mr Emmanuel Sin-Nyet Asigri, the National Co-ordinator of the National Youth Authority, for his enterprising and creative contribution in reviving the youth division of the ministry.
He commended the young entrepreneurs for conceiving innovative ideas and being enthusiastic to make a difference in life.
He said government appreciated the concerns of the youth and would work collectively to help achieve their aspirations in order to turn the economic fortunes of the nation for the better.