President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said entrepreneurship holds one of the key solutions to recovering from the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19).
The President made the statement when he presented awards to this year’s (2020) Presidential Pitch, a project designed and organized by the Ministry of Business Development to offer young Ghanaian entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 the opportunity to market their business ideas and get financial assistance to implement those ideas.
It forms part of the President’s vision to assist young entrepreneurs to nurture their business ideas and improve livelihoods.
“This ceremony is taking place against the background of the Covid-19 pandemic whose spread has brought devastation to all the economies of the world. Rebuilding the global economy and our own national economy is going to put an even greater premium on entrepreneurship which underlines the exceptional significance of today’s event,” he said.
“Government will continue to help fashion a supportive environment to enhance entrepreneurship and enterprise development,” he added.
The pitch usually involves 200 competitors and through the competition, they are scaled down to 10 finalists.
The GH¢30,000.00 to GH¢70,000.00 seed money given to the winners serves as a grant and not a loan. The ideas presented by the contestants must exhibit four characteristics: feasibility, innovation, scalability and impact.
Douglas Akoglo, the Chief Executive Officer of Shea Coal Zoyanna Enterprise, develops sheanut residue into charcoal and emerged winner of this year’s Presidential Pitch event. Apart from the GH¢70,000 cash prize, he was also lucky to have an additional GH¢30,000 gift from the President.
He is scheduled to be attached to a reputable company in Europe to experience at first hand good work practices and build the needed network as well as access to funding sources and markets.
He was followed by Theophilus Dumenyo of Anquito who placed second and Cornelius Nyobator whose company, Verdant, was third.
It is estimated that 250,000 young men and women are thrown out onto the job market from the country’s educational institutions.
The formal sector is currently only able to absorb some 2%, with the remaining 98% either looking for jobs in the informal sector or becoming unemployed.
The Presidential Pitch seeks to deepen entrepreneurial passion amongst Ghanaian youth through the incubation of business ideas into innovative and enterprising business opportunities.
Credit: Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent