By Frank Amponsah
President Nana Akufo Addo has announced a 10 million dollars seed fund as part of Government’s contribution to support Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Ghana towards the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP).
According to him, National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan is the flagship initiative which would be the primary vehicle for providing an integrated national support for start- ups and small businesses.
The plan, he averred, would allow new businesses to emerge and allow them to grow, to receive business development services and financing, to secure markets during the critical formative years and to tap into a wide supply chain and network during their formative years. This, he mentioned “…will help to create jobs.
Delivering the keynote address at the launching of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), an initiative of the Government of Ghana and the Ministry of Business Development, held under the theme: “Creating an Entrepreneur-Driven Economy for Job Creation,” President Akufo Addo noted that the new initiative had a fundamental focus of creating jobs for the youth and people of Ghana.
The President also enumerated that the initiative will also stimulate private sector growth and improve upon the way of doing business in the country, adding that through its implementation, the teeming Ghanaian youth will be equipped with the requisite entrepreneurial skills to make them gainfully employed.
“…It will help their businesses to grow and do well both domestically and internationally,” he added.
The National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) will also subsidize workspaces for Young Entrepreneurs including; the provision of business development facilities, meeting rooms, and related services. This will serve as the nucleus for the development of Incubator Hubs as well as Business Accelerators.
According to him, Ghanaians with entrepreneurship skills will be equipped to become job creators rather than seekers, adding that government has put in place measures to create an enabling environment for private sector operations to thrive.
He pointed out that, the abolishment of some taxes by government is one of its ways to ease the cost of doing business, and indicated that, government’s plan to cut tax will drive investment and create jobs.
The president also said, solid businesses and enterprises are the driving force of developed countries and Africa as a developing continent will need strong enterprises, practical and well informed entrepreneurs to steer its affairs to be able to achieve the required level of development.
“…Capacity- building is important to us in improving businesses. We also believe this will curb unemployment and make Ghana an entrepreneurial nation,” he said.
Governments will also realign taxes, work with budget, banks, business associations and the private sector to be able to fund the initiative, assuring businesses of government’s plan to tackle inefficiency in public institutions through the Public Sector Reform Committee and encouraged participants.
He reiterated government’s commitment in making Ghana a business hub through a number of strategies that will also improve the country’s economy.
Nana Akufo-Addo said, government has started work on improving local businesses as a priority and would need the support of Ghanaians to make it a reality.
He mentioned that “It is our top priority to make Ghana a number one business nation at least in West Africa”.
The president also said, for the NEIP initiative to succeed, government needs to establish relevant policy frameworks that will help businesses to expand and create jobs and that must be done by putting into consideration the needs of the youth.
“We have removed the many impediments there for businesses. We want to signal to the private sector that we mean business,” the President said.
The removal of certain taxes by government, the president said, has already taken effect during the past few months if office in order to ensure the buoyancy of Ghana’s private sector he said.
Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo, who chaired the NEIP launch said, the initiative is important to the growth of the private sector as indicated in the NPP government manifesto.
According to him, government is poised to generate jobs from the private sector therefore, all efforts will be taken to make the private sector to flourish and be able to offer such services to augment government’s efforts in job creation and business growth.