The Ministry of Business Development has launched the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) Business Plan Competition in Tamale, today Monday January 8, 2018. The training is expected to cover the other regions in the north, the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions as part of the implementation of the first phase of the program.
The ministry anticipates that all applicants for this initiative will take advantage of the training and utilize all tools, knowledge and services available to expand their businesses to meet world standards and increase the employment rates in Ghana.
Addressing participants and other stakeholders at the Radach Conference hall, the Director of Programs at the Business Development Ministry, Mr. Yakubu Yussif on behalf of the sector Minister, Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal said the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector plays a major role in many developing economies.
According to him, the 2015 World Bank report indicates that the formal SME sector alone contributes over 60% of the total employment and up to 40% of GDP in emerging economies, particularly in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
He said further that, the report also reveals that, most formal jobs in emerging markets are largely generated by the SME sector alone and thereby constitute a larger part of the labour force, compared to the micro and large blue-chip enterprises.
The minister therefore believes that this remains an important drive in the country’s growth and developmental agenda. However, he noted despite the immense contribution this sector makes to the development of this country, many SMEs are faced with numerous challenges of which access to capital is a crucial.
Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal added that “it is on this basis that government has launched the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) together with its Private Sector Implementation Partner (PSIP): African SME Organization through the Ministry of Business Development”.
He disclosed that, the Business Development Ministry has been charged with the mandate to develop sustainable new businesses across Ghana to address barriers of growth faced by existing SMEs with the provision of business and finance support through the NEIP Business Plan Competition.
Meanwhile, SMEs will be assisted based on a 4 tier SME Support Ecosystem. This includes, Advisory Services, Access to Finance (seed capital, loans, equity), Access to Market and Policy (providing a conducive SME Ecosystem). The China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), a leading international business school, is expected to put together a curriculum and facilitators for the regional training of over 6,000 business applicants.
On his part, the Northern Regional Minister, Hon Salifu Sa-eed challenged the participants to take full advantage of the program. “Even if you don’t have all the ideas, which I know you would not have, you have to spend some time, you have to sacrifice and search for good consultants to prepare the business proposals for you people; so that you can take advantage to access this money, when you access this money, I am telling you, you will not even want employment from government, you will rather be employing others so that the teaming unemployed population we in the country which is a development problem on the neck of Ghana will be a thing of the past” he stated.
He assured the business development ministry that the people of the northern region especially the youth are determined to make progress and to get themselves empowered.
by: Mohammed Gadafi _ northstarfmonline.com, Tamale, Ghana