A one-day sensitisation workshop has been organised by the Ministry of Finance and the YouStart implementation agencies in collaboration with the Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development Ministry, for Regional Ministers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives in the Greater Accra, Central and Western regions.
The programme which took place in Accra on Thursday, was aimed at educating Regional Ministers, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives in the southern part of Ghana on the YouStart.
The YouStart is a programme that seeks to support young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training and technical skills that will enable them start, build and grow their own businesses.
This initiative targets young people and students between the ages of 18-35 years who have brilliant business ideas and viable businesses, and supports these individuals to nurture, grow and expand their businesses and job creation in the economy.
The workshop was aimed at how the agencies can provide support services for potential beneficiaries in their various areas. It forms part of a nationwide stakeholder plan being implemented by government ahead of the launch of the programme in July.
Addressing the media after the programme, the Deputy Finance Minister and Member of Parliament for Ejisu, Dr John AmpontuahKumah, explained that the objectives of YouStart could only be achieved if Ghanaians understood the importance of entrepreneurship and job creation in the current economic structure of the country.
“Currently, 92% of enterprises in Ghana are micro, small and medium enterprises and they contribute to 83% of employment in Ghana and a 70% contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. If you want to transform the economy you must pay attention to them” he said.
According to the Deputy Minister, in order to ensure that the youth irrespective of where they find themselves could access the programmme, the government was working closely with all the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives across the county.
Present at the workshop was the Minister For Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development and member of Parliament for Okere, Mr Dan Botwe, Deputy Minister for Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development and Member of Parliament for Akwapim South, Mr.OseiBonsuAmoah, Chief Executive Officers of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme and the Ghana Enterprises Agencies, Mr Kofi OfosuNkansah and MrsKosiYankey-Ayeh.
YouStart is being funded through the Electronic Levy which aimed at building an entrepreneurial nation by providing some of the key enablers that make entrepreneurship a success.
These include: training, capacity, access to market, technology and procurement opportunities, business development support services, access to finance (up to 500,000) and compliance as well asv quality assurance support.
Given the high rate of youth unemployment in the country, Government intends to use the YOUSTART programme to create more jobs for the economy and to support the expansion and growth of Ghanaian businesses within the next 3 years.