The University Students Association of Ghana (USAG) is seeking support from the Ministry of Business Development to unearth and grow the entrepreneurial skills of tertiary students.
The partnership is expected to involve the organisation of seminars in the various campuses for students to be enlightened on how to survive the world of entrepreneurship after school.
It is the vision of the USAG that this collaboration would whip up the interest of students in entrepreneurship and create their respective businesses when they complete school, instead of chasing the limited jobs in the formal sector.
These came to light when some members of the USAG National Executive Council (NEC) led by its president Paul Abrakwa paid a courtesy call on the sector minister Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal in Accra yesterday.
Mr Abrakwa told the minister that the USAG had already planned an entrepreneurship retreat to be held in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Northern regions.
The association, he said, intended to organise a programme that would help boost the interest of women in information technology development to enable them cash in on the digital revolution.
“We want to reduce the dependency on the government for jobs after school. And the support from the ministry will go a long way to help us achieve these objectives,” he said.
The USAG President said many students had the potential to start diverse businesses including agribusiness, but the lack of financial and technical support had discouraged many of them.
Dr Awal commended the association for taking steps to build the capacity of students, noting that the way to build entrepreneurship was to develop a mindset that “you are a job creator and seeker”.
He said since the government could not employ all graduates, it was running some programme on campuses including various business pitches to support those who have business ideas.
He announced that an inter-university campus pitch would be held in March, next year, during which each university, would pitch two ideas to win the funding yet to be announced.
According to Dr Awal, the ministry had planned to increase beneficiaries of the Students Entrepreneurship Initiative launched this year to about 50,000 next year.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP), John Kumah, said the necessary synergies were being created to grow entrepreneurship.
He said there were opportunities for ventures in agri-business and other ventures as the industrialisation agenda of the government and the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda would thrive on the private sector.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR