A week earmarked purposely to celebrate Ghanaian Startups, Small and Medium scale businesses has been launched at the Accra Digital Center, with massive commitment from key ministries and agencies.
The Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, in charge of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei, launched the 2022 edition, with a call on Ghanaians to be driven by the desire to create their own successes.
That, she argued is the only way the country’s debilitating graduate unemployment challenge could be solved as well as serve as the fulcrum to the country’s economic recovery.
“We need to be able to develop our entrepreneurial skills. Those who have been able to setup organizations that are now worth millions, they were not born with blue or green blood. It’s not the color of anybody’s skin or hair but rather the ability to utilize their brains first and foremost and building ourselves in terms of discipline…more than giving unnecessary excuses,” she said
She added: “We need to be able to equip ourselves a lot more and we should also be able to take ourselves out of the idea of entitlement and rather equip ourselves with the idea of pushing to get to where we will want to get to. If you come in with entitlement, you will only get disappointed.”
The Minister commended the organizers; Ghana Startup Network for such a great initiative, and expressed her Ministry’s commitment to partner them for a successful implementation.
Speaking at the launching, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority (NYA), Hon. Pius Enam Hadzide, said the government holds the view that the solution to the country’s unemployment situation resides in the private sector and not in the public sector.
“We do agree that there should be increase in recruitment into the public sector but that is to only service an effective public service that can underpin a functional private sector. Nowhere in the world has the problem of youth unemployment resolved by interventions within the public sector,” he stated, and called on all stakeholders to come on board to support the youth to become job creators, instead of job seekers.
On their part, the CEOs of National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (NEIP), and Ghana Digital Centres Ltd.; Mr. Kofi Ofosu Nkansah and Kwadwo Baah Agyeman respectively pledged their support for the Ghana Startups and SMEs week, and assured to collaborate fully for maximum impact.
Solomon Adjei, the Executive Director of Ghana Startup Network, lead organizers of the program, expressed gratitude to the various institutions for their support and commitment to assist them in their operations to support Startup businesses, nationwide.
Solomon explained that the Ghana Startups and SMEs Week 2022 is scheduled for November this year, with series of activities billed to happen at different locations, with specific targeted audience and resource persons.
The scheduled activities include Students Entrepreneurship Forum, PwDs Entrepreneurship Forum, Young Entrepreneurs Summit, Ghana Startups and SMEs Trade Fair, Ghana Social Enterprise Forum, Ghana Venture Investment Forum & Startups Demo Day, Startups & SMEs Stakeholders Assembly, Ghana Startups & SMEs Beauty & Fashion Show, and Young Entrepreneur Awards
Solomon touched on the theme for this year’s celebration: Innovate, “Collaborate and Invest for greater Impact”, and called on all stakeholders and corporate Ghana to come onboard as partners and sponsors in cash, goods or services.
The event presents an excellent opportunity and platform to dialogue, network and have cross fertilization of ideas on how we can better and collectively partner to support the Startups and SMEs ecosystem, thereby helping to address the perennial youth unemployment canker.
Partners for this year’s edition include the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Information, National Youth Authority, National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, Ghana Enterprises Agency, Ghana Digital Centres Ltd, Ghana Investment Promotions Authority, Social Enterprise Ghana, Ghana Hubs Network, National Union of Ghana Students, Association of Small-Scale Industries, Borderless Alliance, among others.