The government has set up a framework for direct support to young people to enable them to create new businesses or develop existing ones.
Known as YouBanC, the intervention will direct financial and technical support to young entrepreneurs in the country.
YouBanC will simultaneously promote the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and support new businesses.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, who leaked this last Friday, said the intervention, to be launched next month, was an important step in the race to create a million jobs within the framework of the Ghana CARES program (Obaatan Pa).
Interact with youth at Springboard, Ghana CARES Youth
Dialogue program at the University of Professional Studies of Accra (UPSA), Mr. Ofori-Atta said YouBanC will be launched after the presentation of the 2022 budget.
The budget will be presented to Parliament next month.
Therefore, the 2022 budget would continue to strengthen institutions such as the Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF), the National Entrepreneurship Innovation Program (NEIP) and the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) to create entrepreneurship opportunities for young people, a said the Minister of Finance.
How to access
“Requests for financial support, starter kits and training / mentoring programs will be made through a centralized online portal and at GEA & NEIP business advisory centers and dedicated university campuses,” Ofori- noted. Atta.
He said key stakeholders had been consulted to inform the design of the program.
“The consultations were also extended to technical experts to ensure that the project is well suited to identify and support viable businesses,” he said.
“Ultimately our goal as a government is to make sure that we can, through our interventions, tackle the unsettling sense of uncertainty that exists among our young people,” he added.
Mr. Ofori-Atta stressed that the government is rooted in its commitment to create a million jobs by leveraging the existing financial architecture and the government business ecosystem to create opportunities for young people.
He therefore tasked the youth to support the government’s efforts to build an entrepreneurial state capable of providing the necessary jobs required in the country.
The finance minister urged young people to work on starting their own businesses to employ others, instead of waiting to be hired by the government after school.
Quoting how he left a high paying job in New York City, United States of America (US), to start his own business in Ghana, he told young people to strive to do great things, because there was no limit to what they could. to do.
Mr. Ofori-Atta and his friends created Databank, which then invested in other companies, such as Enterprise Insurance Group and other ancillary companies, which now form a large conglomerate.
He assured young people that the government was willing and ready to help them achieve their dreams.
The program, which was themed: ‘Opportunities for Ghana’s Youth under the Ghana-CARES Program’, brought together hundreds of higher education students, graduates and youth groups from both formal and informal sectors. .
The list of participating youth groups and institutions included the University of Ghana Business School, Pentecost University College, UPSA, Methodist University College, University of Wisconsin and Academic City University.
The others are the National Service Personnel Association (NASPA), the Design & Technology Institute (DTI), the Tema Technical Institute, the YIEDIE Youth Association and the Opportunities Industrialization Center, Ghana (OICG).
The others are the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), the Ghanaian Industries Association (AGI), the Ghana Craftsmen Association (AAG) and the Mastercard Foundation.
Youth and opportunity
Also speaking to young people, Deputy Finance Minister Dr John Kumah stressed that 6.6 million young people will enter the workforce by 2024.
With public sector jobs capped, he said, this required the private sector to step up its offerings.
He noted that there was a strong mismatch between the skills available and the demands of employers, noting that more than 50 percent of higher education degree registrations were in fields with little or no future growth.
“We have to make sure that our institutions are well placed to equip young people to either continue the business or to enter the formal labor market,” he said.
500,000 jobs thanks to NEIP
Dr Kumah, former NEIP coordinator, said the government’s approach to achieving the goal of creating one million jobs centers on three pillars, namely improving access to finance and market links for young entrepreneurs, overhaul of institutional arrangements and skills development. , entrepreneurial support and business advice.
The deputy finance minister said that out of 1 million jobs, NEIP alone is expected to create 500,000 by 2024.
He said those jobs would be in agriculture (155,000), agribusiness (65,000), manufacturing (40,000), information and communications technology (ICT) (30,000), health (20,000), tourism (80,000), support for student businesses (30,000) and crafts (80,000).
For her part, the Executive Director of the Springboard Road Show Foundation, Ms. Comfort Ocran, said what started as a journey to teach and mentor young people has turned into results beyond the expectations of the initiators.
She said that over the past 15 years, the Springboard Road Show has impacted the lives of millions of people across the country.
Ms. Ocran noted that last year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation decided to set up a new program to support young people hard hit by the virus.
“Following this disruption, we created the CORE program to help young people develop life skills and resilience important to survive and thrive in the face of the pandemic. Young people across the country developed new skills in industries ranging from construction and real estate, makeup, engineering and carpentry, but something was missing and this was an opportunity to put in practice what they had learned, ”she explained.
She said the government’s plan to create a million jobs therefore provided young people with the perfect opportunity to put what they had learned into practice.
“The Youth Dialogue series therefore aims to give young people the opportunity to engage the Minister of Finance and his team and ask them any questions about the One Million Jobs initiative,” Ocran explained.
UPSA Vice-Chancellor Prof. Abednego Okoe Amartey, for his part, told young people that dialogue, including meeting with the minister and his team, was a rare opportunity and therefore urged them to take advantage of it.
He also reminded young people that what they needed most for their business to thrive was “the right attitude”.