President Akufo-Addo has charged recipients of the Presidential Business Support Initiative to use their financial awards effectively in order to generate at least 30,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Speaking at the award ceremony of Presidential Business Support Programme on the theme; “Empowering Ghanaian Businesses,” at the Banquet Hall of the Jubilee House, President Akufo-Addo, quoting Mark Victor Hansen, who once said, “Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful,” challenged the select group of awardees to take immediate steps to build and grow their business ideas, as well as generate jobs as a way of giving back to society.
“As you receive, you must be prepared to give back to society. With the training and support you are receiving, you must together be able to create some thirty thousand direct jobs within the next year and several thousand indirect jobs,” the President said.
The President congratulated the recipients for meeting the criteria that was set for qualifying for the award. To those who were unsuccessful, the President urged them to try again next year when the competition reopens to receive applications. He added that their unsuccessful application this year should not prevent them from giving it a second attempt.
Key Sectors Targeted
In all, the businesses of the beneficiaries of the initiative cut across key sectors of the economy such as Agribusiness and Agro Processing, Information & Communication Technology (ICT), Sports, Tourism and Recreation, Sanitation and Waste Management, Green and Ecological Businesses, Health, Food and Beverages, Fashion and Beauty, Media, Marketing and Communications, Manufacturing and Industrial Processing, Real Estate and Construction, Transport, Logistics and professional services.
The NEIP Business Support Programme
The NEIP Business Support Program is an initiative by the government under the Ministry of Business Development to support unemployed Ghanaian youth through training and funding for them to be able to set up their own businesses or rather boost their existing ones.
The Presidential disbursement is the first of its kind, in recent times, that a deliberate, systematic, integrated national policy has been instituted to support early stage start-ups and small businesses. The support is not a grant but a loan with a low interest of 10 percent, repayable within three years to enable beneficiaries expand and create more businesses.
The NEIP Journey
The President launched the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), a year ago to support and develop young businesses across the country.
NEIP after the launch, called for an online application where about 7,000 entrepreneurs applied to receive funding for their businesses.
The 7,000 applicants went through vigorous training at private incubation hubs across the country who also recommended applicants for funding. 1,350 out of the 7,000 were selected to receive funding ranging from GHS10,000 to GHS100,000 across the ten regions of Ghana.
The disbursement is expected to be in three phases; the Southern, Middle and Northern. The southern disbursements would be done by President Akufo-Addo, while the middle one would be done by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu with the Northern disbursement to be done by the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
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