Govt to create 120,000 jobs in five years - Dr Awal

The Minister of Business Development (MOBD), Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal has stated that his outfit is seeking to create 120,000 jobs over the next five years through the Presidential Business Support Programme (PBSP).

According to him, the programme which commenced in 2017 had so far created 4,500 jobs and this number was expected to be scaled up to about 120,000 by the close of 2022.

Taking his turn at the Meet-the-Press series organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Information, he said in line with the mandate of his ministry, a number of initiatives, including the PBSP had been rolled out to assist the youth in creating jobs and wealth.

He explained that the PBSP as an initiative was to provide a structured entrepreneurship and business development training for young entrepreneurs and so far 19,000 young entrepreneurs had received support in the form of capacity building, market access and funding.

 “In 2017, 7000 young entrepreneurs were trained under the PBSP with 1,350 receiving funding,” he added.

Dr Awal said under the window two of the programme, 12,000 businesses applied for training and funding, following which all applicants were offered training and provided an avenue to receive technical support, training, mentorship and business advisory services.

“Three thousand out of the 12,000 trainees will receive seed capital. Seed capital of between GH¢10, 000 and GH¢100, 000 per applicant with 10 per cent interest per annum,” he emphasised.

He said as part of the initiative, a training of trainers was organised for about 2,000 young entrepreneurs throughout the entire country and this was in partnership with the Institute of Creation and Development of Enterprises (INCYDE) of Spain.

Dr Awal said about 60 per cent of the country’s population were below age 30, as a result it was important that different models and initiatives were introduced to unearth their entrepreneurial potential.

In this direction, he said MOBD had introduced the Student Entrepreneurship Initiative at the Senior High School level to expose students to business concepts and plans at an early age.

He said the tendency for the students to think entrepreneurship and begin to develop projects and services was great and this programme was geared towards tapping into that potential.

“About 7,500 students in Senior High are benefiting from the initiative nationwide. We are setting up entrepreneurship clubs in tertiary institutions also,” he said.

According to him all these were to boost the entrepreneurship ecosystem as well as deepen the entrepreneurial capacity of students, adding that “15,000 students in tertiary institutions are benefiting from the initiative nationwide.”

In addition to these, he said the Presidential Pitch also provided an avenue of funding for entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 years with brilliant business ideas.

He said under the first edition of the Pitch, a total of 20 young entrepreneurs were assisted with funding ranging between GH¢25,000 and GH¢50,000 with the overall winner receiving a top up of GH¢25,000 from the President, bringing her award money to GH¢75,000.

“For this year, which is also the PITCH Two, over 800 applications were received out of which 20 of them were selected and 10 of them made it to the final. Funding between GH¢25,000 and GH¢60,000 were given to the winners,” he stressed.

By Cliff Ekuful

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