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Monday, December 18, 2017

Government of Ghana Partners with CEIBS Africa on National Entrepreneurship & Innovation Plan

- Accra Campus to Host 1st National Co-Working, Accelerator & Incubator Space

December 18, 2017. Accra – Ghana’s first national co-working, accelerator and incubator space was launched today at CEIBS Accra Campus. Christened the ‘Job Station’, it will provide young Ghanaian start-ups and small businesses with an integrated national support platform for scaling up and providing meaningful jobs under the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP).

Speaking at the launch ceremony for the Job Station, Ghana’s Minister of Business Development, Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, said the government’s goal is to set up many more job stations across the country’s 10 regions. “Our goal is to put up 25 job stations across the country with partner institutions,” he said. “Each job station will be able to host more than 100 businesses, making it possible for us to train and ‘farm’ over 2,500 businesses when all the job stations come on stream.”

The Job Station is part of a unique partnership effort by the Government of Ghana, under the auspices of the Ministry of Business Development. CEIBS is the academic partner, and the private sector implementation partner is the African SME Organisation. The initiative is part of the government’s commitment to building the most business-friendly and people-friendly economy in Africa, in order to create jobs and prosperity for all Ghanaians.

“The whole objective is to promote entrepreneurship development to create jobs and hopefully to move Ghana from a low income economy to a middle income economy within the next few years,” said Executive Director of CEIBS Africa Professor Mathew Tsamenyi. “This is a special occasion for us as an institution; we are growing and we want to partner with the private sector and as well the government to promote entrepreneurship development.”

Executive Director of the African SME Organisation, Mr. Yaw Asamoah, was optimistic that the Job Station will help develop big businesses in Ghana. “It is going to be a homestead where we grow the big corporations in Ghana,” he said. “All the companies we are going to admit should be able to move from the job station and get venture capital funding and equity not just in Ghana but also from abroad.”

Admission to the Job Station will be competitive and decided on the ability of a business to provide jobs and be profitable. Professor Tsamenyi said that those admitted to the Job Station will receive business development support from mentors to help them enhance their business ideas and also their access to funding.

Mr. Awal said he believes that the Job Stations will be the platform for grooming the next generation of Ghanaian-international businesses for both local and foreign investments, and  helping to address the country’s unemployment issues.   

 “There is the need to reverse this situation of many people being unemployed, and that is why we think that through this programme we will be able to create around 500,000 jobs over the next four years, which will expand the economy and create more jobs,” said Mr. Awal. “It is with this aim that the President has released 10 million dollars to support young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and build new ones.”

Mr. Awal also called on the youth of Ghana to support the President’s goal of taking Ghana beyond aid and anchoring the country’s future on its young people, who are creative, knowledgeable and willing to take risks. “It is my hope that the young people of Ghana will take advantage of this initiative to acquire the necessary funding and business support to assist them to expand their businesses and create jobs,” Mr. Awal said.   

Professor Tsamenyi added that  CEIBS is proud to be a part of the project, as it has entrepreneurship at the core of its founding principles.  “Even before this conversation started we actually planned to have an incubator here and we were discussing with our colleagues in Shanghai how to link it up with the incubator there,” he said.

The establishment of the job station and several others that are to follow are an integral part of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), which is expected to see more than 6,650 entrepreneurs trained nation-wide under the Ministry of Business Development, and the African SME Organisation, with CEIBS as the academic partner.

The SMEs will be assisted by a four-tier SME support ecosystem which includes advisory services, access to finance (seed capital, loans, and equity), access to market and policy (providing a cohesive SME ecosystem).  Applicants will also be thoroughly trained in how to develop a business plan that meets global standards, and a sustainable business model. This will equip them with enough knowledge to be able to run their start-ups as independent businesses.

The National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) is a flagship policy initiative of the government of Ghana with the primary objective of providing an integrated national support for start-ups and small businesses. The NEIP primarily focuses on providing business development services; start-up incubators and funding for young businesses to enable them to grow and become successful.

Samuel Ocloo-Dzaba
Janine Coughlin
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