Dr Mohammed Awal
The federal government of Ghana, in its bid to assist and promote young business owners in the country will disburse GH¢100 Million to 1000 young entrepreneurs in the country this month. This was made known by the Minister for Business Development, Dr Mohammed Awal in Kumasi during a meeting with CEOs of the Ghana Employers Association.
The loans will be disbursed through the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP). The plan is an improvement of the previous administration’s Youth Enterprise Support (YES) programme and was set up to help young business owners grow their business.
Ghana’s Minister for Business Development, Dr Mohammed Awal revealed this during a breakfast with the CEOs of the Ghana Employers Association in Kumasi. He explained that the initial $10 million which was earmarked for the plan last year by the president during the launching of NEIP has been increased to $100 million.
According to the Minister, young entrepreneurs will receive soft loans between GH¢10,000 and GH¢100,000 each which will vary based on the scope of their project and will be at a 10 percent interest rate.
He also added that his ministry has done a lot to support young entrepreneurs in the country as part of the present administration’s plan. “Very soon we are going to support 1000 of entrepreneurs. In fact, this month, access to cheap loans, very affordable loans of about 10 per cent,” said Dr Awal. With this, he believes there will be a conducive environment for the private sector to work and reduce the country’s unemployment problem.
Young entrepreneurs are the future
The president had earlier reaffirmed his commitment to youth development in the country through government support. “The country has not done so well incubating business ideas and developing them into global giants, even though there are lots of enterprising, creative and innovative youth, seeking an opportunity,” said President Nana Akufo-Adda during the launch of the presidential pitch in June 2018.
This promise hasn’t gone unfulfilled, as the president continues to reiterate his longstanding commitment to youth development. Just last month, the president made a personal donation of GHC25, 000 to Ms Vannesa Aisha Limann, the winner of the Presidential Pitch competition.
The competition which was organized by the Ministry of Business Development had over 2000 entrepreneurs participated in it. The winner Ms Limann received GHC50,000 an equivalent of USD$10,500 investment package for her business investment while the first and second runner-up won GHC45,000 and GHC40,000 each for their business pitches.
The ministry’s decision to disburse loans this month, combined with the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) which is headed by John Kumah, a renowned lawyer, will focus on providing business development services; startup incubators and funding for young businesses to enable them to grow and become successful.
With the relentless efforts of Ghana’s present administration to provide young entrepreneurs with an enabling environment to work and grow their ideas, many believe it will boost the realization of the “Ghana beyond Aid’ agenda. This, according to experts would also revamp the economy and help more youths become productive by keeping them off the streets.