THE GHANA Enterprise Agency (GEA), in collaboration with Mastercard Foundation, has designed a competitive entrepreneurship programme aimed at helping trainees of the Nation Builders’ Corps (NABCO) transform innovative ideas into lucrative businesses.
The four-month programme, dubbed ‘Innovative, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE)’, is a component of the Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA) and Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works project.
GEA Executive Director, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, in an interview, indicated that although there existed a special collaboration between the two organisations and NABCO, the call for application was open to all Ghanaians between the ages of 18 and 35 years.
Aside equipping participants with the required skills and technical support to start businesses from the scratch and incorporate creativity and innovation into these, the programme, she said, would also enable them create employment and dignified work for other youth.
“What we are seeking to do is to equip our youth to be able to start business and incorporate innovation and creativity so they will have the skills set in order to do business in a different way and not business as usual,” she said.
Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh explained that interested persons would attend a boot-camp, progress to other stages of the training after which they would have to justify their inclusion to receive the varied support.
She noted that trainees who excelled at the end of the training would also be supported to register their respective businesses and receive other needed certification, in addition to access to funding, markets and mentorship to sustain their ventures.
The training, which would be done in phases, she noted, would focus on areas that included the concept of entrepreneurship, business incubation, market research, development of prototype and preparation of business plan.
She said applications were open till the end of the year and encouraged the youth, especially women, to be part of a larger plan to reduce unemployment in the country.
Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh further disclosed that the programme started last year with the first batch numbering about 6,000.
The GEA/Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works was launched last year with the aim of providing employment and income opportunities to 39,000 youth with targets 70 per cent of women within the next three years.
By Issah Mohammed