PRESIDENT NANA Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has launched a business ideas competition, dubbed the ‘Presidential Pitch’, aimed at realising the government’s ambition of helping to unleash an entrepreneurial revolution in the country.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the country has not done so well incubating business ideas and developing them into global giants, though there are lots of enterprising, creative and innovative youth seeking the opportunity.
The President said his government was determined to buck up the trend, adding that “a journey of five thousand miles, they say, begins with the first step. We are taking the first steps.”
The business ideas being presented at the Presidential Pitch, he stressed, must exhibit four characteristics. “That is, they must be feasible, innovative, scalable and impactful.”
With some 2,000 applications received, 20 proposals were selected at the end of the process, with the 20 successful applicants given mentors and attached to various businesses, and with the others stationed at the Ministry of Business Development’s incubator hubs.
“At the end of the competition, the top 10 winners will receive support from the government, to the tune of GH₵ 50,000.00 each. It is my expectation that the 10 beneficiary companies should help create jobs, and, at least, employ three people each,” the President said.
He continued, “Through periodic updates from the Ministry’s monitoring and evaluation systems, I am going to take personal interest in the way the beneficiary companies are run, as the Ministry helps nurture them into prominence.”
President Akufo-Addo was speaking at the launch of the ‘Presidential Pitch’, on Monday, June 25, 2018, at the Movenpick Hotel.
President Akufo-Addo noted that in addition to the “Presidential Pitch”, the government launched a National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Plan (NEIP), with an initial start-up capital of $10 million, to support young entrepreneurs start their businesses, adding, “We are now outdooring.
“Again, through the NEIP, five hundred (500) young men and women across the country will receive funding to help expand their businesses. This will be the first time, in recent times, that a deliberate, systematic, and integrated national policy has been instituted to support early stage start-ups and small businesses,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo reiterated the commitment of his government to create in Ghana the most business-friendly environment in Africa, where businesses flourish and create jobs.
“That is why Government has put in place measures intended to reduce the cost of doing business and improve the business environment. Our actions have resulted in the growing stability of the macro-economy, reduction in inflation, reduction in utility tariffs, and an abolition of nuisance taxes, whose aim is to shift the focus of the economy from taxation to production,” he added.
All these measures, he added, are being undertaken to stimulate enterprise activity and growth in the country.
The President stated that “in you, the contestants I have met today, the future of the Ghanaian private sector is extremely promising”, and applauded each of the contestants warmly on their products and presentations.
“I hope the other contestants will excuse me if I single out the youngest amongst you, the 19-year-old lady from Gwollu in the West Sissala District, Vanessa Aisha Limann, for special attention, and a personal donation of GH₵ 25,000.00 from me, in addition to the GH₵ 50,000.00 the Ministry is to give her,” he added.
The President expressed his belief in Ghana’s manifest destiny, and in the capacity of Ghanaians to construct a new, prosperous Ghanaian civilisation that would reflect the progressive values and culture which have defined the Ghanaian people through the ages.