Government has resolved to create millions of jobs through the ‘YouStart Programme’.
According to a Deputy Finance Minister, Dr John Kumah, the programme is dear to the heart of President Nana Akufo-Addo whose agenda is to create blue chip companies among local investors through the entrepreneurship project.
Speaking at a signing ceremony with 13 Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) to support the implementation of the commercial part of the ¢10 billion ‘YouStart entrepreneurship programme, Dr John Kumah said the partnership was very important to government’s ambition of creating future entrepreneurs who will dominate the economy.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, signed for the government, while John Awuah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Association of Bankers, signed for the coordinating institution of the PFIs, which the GAB represent.
He told Joy Business that government will create an environment that will boost entrepreneurship.
“We need to create the opportunities in which people can be trained as entrepreneurs, and they also hire other people to grow. I mean if you look at the population statistics of almost 37% of our people being between 15 and 35, it creates a lot of pressure. And I think it is incumbent on us to create the financial system with training and reward system that encourages entrepreneurship to take risks”.
He explained that the partnership with the banks is key to the sustainability of developing the entrepreneurship eco-system.
“The banks have committed about ¢5 billion over three years to be deployed to SME’s and that’s what we going to work with for it to happen. And so that will create excitement, especially, in this period that we are also having an arrangement with the International Monetary Fund. So that we move beyond dependence on government and donors into our own creative energies”.
The PFIs are to support the programme and ensure its extension to entrepreneurs with businesses in rural areas to help create jobs and improve the livelihood of the people.
The funds would be used to meet the working capital requirement of businesses, support their expansion through acquisition of equipment to enhance productivity and create more well-paid jobs, especially for the youth.