By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA

Tamale, Sept. 14, GNA
– The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has challenged Ghanaian youth to
cultivate the spirit of entrepreneurship in order to create jobs and reduce
graduate unemployment.

He said Government
would, therefore, create the necessary environment and incentive for Ghana’s
young men and women to challenge the status quo and think outside the box in
order to contribute their quota to national development.

Vice President Bawumia
said this when he launched the Student Entrepreneurship Initiative (SEI) at
Ghana Secondary School, Tamale, on Friday.

The SEI is an effort
by the Government to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem that promotes job
creation and improvement in livelihoods.

Under the Initiative,
the Ministry of Business Development will train and stimulate at least 10,000
students annually to think entrepreneurship and engage two million students
over the next five years.

“We are convinced that
if teenagers are introduced to thinking about business concepts and the right
management structure to businesses, they can expand and hone their ideas and
begin to execute those ideas even before they complete their tertiary
education,” Vice President Bawumia said.

Citing the results of
a recent survey, the Vice President expressed disappointment that an
overwhelming percentage of secondary school students preferred already
established white-collar jobs instead of working to set up their own.

The survey revealed
that at least 68 per cent of the respondents, both male and female, preferred
to be in civil service, medicine, nursing, engineering, law and architecture as
well as other already established jobs.

Less than two per cent
of the respondents preferred to be in business, the Vice President said, hence
the decision to set up the Student Entrepreneurship Initiative.

“The current situation
at the Senior High School (SHS) level betrays a clear lack of the
entrepreneurial conversation in their set-up” he said.

Vice President Bawumia
was optimistic that the Initiative would produce the next crop of Ghanaian
entrepreneurs.

“The tendency that
these ‘STUPRENEURS’ (Student entrepreneurs) will leave senior high schools,
university, and other tertiary institutions with high sense of business
awareness and confidence, would go a long way to increase the rate of business
formation in the country.

“I encourage you
students to take advantage of the Student Entrepreneurship Initiative to come
up with business ideas and be assured that the Government would support you to
realise your dreams of becoming successful entrepreneurs.”

The Minister for
Business Development, Alhaji Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, urged the students to
take advantage of the various programmes being rolled out by the Ministry to
develop their entrepreneurial skills and take control of their destinies.

“When students are
exposed to business concepts and plans at an early age, there is a tendency for
them to think entrepreneurial and begin to develop projects and services while
in school. We aim to help you on this journey, and hope that in a few years Ghana
can also boast of world renowned entrepreneurs,” he said.

Under the SEI, schools
will be encouraged and assisted to form entrepreneurial clubs with the active
collaboration of the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service.

The entrepreneurial
clubs will be trained by selected hubs that are already working with the
Ministry of Business Development and the National Entrepreneurship and
Innovation Plan.

To generate excitement
among SHSs, the SEI will roll out a business plan competition that will set out
what businesses the entrepreneurial clubs want to pursue.

The grand finale of
the competition will be held in Accra early next year where students of the
various schools will present their ideas to a special jury.

Winners will then be
moved around the world to experience the audacity of entrepreneurship and to
understand the real world of business.

This will constitute a
world series of visiting places like Silicon Valley in the USA and Tech City of
London.

GNA



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