GEA scales up push for MSMEs to take centre-stage in economic recovery

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As part of efforts to scale up support for the Ghanaian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector to assume its rightful place in the country’s economic recovery, the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) has presented 3,000 Start-up Kits to beneficiaries of the Apprenticeship to Enterprise (A2E) component of the Young Africa Works Project across the country.

The Young Africa Works Project, an initiative of the MasterCard Foundation, is being implemented by the GEA to train and mentor individuals as well as businesses to become entrepreneurs with the capacity to create jobs and aid the country’s economic recovery amid the COVID-19 devastation.

The GEA/Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works Project is under one of GEA’s flagship Programs, Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment Programme (YEEP). YEEP is an upgraded and job-focused version of all the apprenticeship and technical training programs undertaken by GEA to equip the teeming youth with employable skills to support our existing entrepreneurs to create employment.

The beneficiaries who have received a six-month training in Dressmaking, Hairdressing, Barbering, Leather Works, Auto Electricals, Welding & Fabrication among others are being provided with the necessary tools to enable them to start their business.

Speaking during the graduation and handing-over of startup kits to beneficiaries during a ceremony in Accra, Trade and Industry Minister Alan Kyerematen said the delivery mechanisms used by GEA to implement the Young Africa Works Project take into account all the facets of youth entrepreneurship: Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE), Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurship (A2E) and Business Acceleration, focusing on equipping 39,000 young men and women with dignified jobs – with 70 percent being women.

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“These youth have undergone apprenticeship training under approved GEA Skilled Craft Persons (SCPs) or Artisans guidelines. They have all successfully completed technical and entrepreneurial training, written National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) examinations, and are being supported with start-up kits to start their business,” he stated.

Government alone can’t provide millions of jobs

Thanking the MasterCard Foundation for complementing government’s efforts at training the youth in Ghana to obtain skills, as well as equipping them with relevant tools to support the government’s industrial transformation agenda, the trade minister observed that the flagship programmes being implemented by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration – which include the Planting for Food and Jobs and One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiatives – alone “cannot create the millions of jobs we need for our citizens”.

For him, the successful implementation of these programmes would require requisite human resources with the relevant skills set; hence, the Apprenticeship 2 Entrepreneurship project being implemented jointly by the Ghana Enterprises Agency and MasterCard Foundation will improve the ecosystem and boost productivity of these flagship programmes.

On her part, the Chief Executive Officer of the GEA, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, stated the agency has in its interventions over the years observed a positive correlation between the provision of startup packs and establishment of new businesses, adding that: “Our inability to provide startup kits limited the ability of trainees to start their own enterprises even when they willing to”.

Youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenges confronting governments across the world, and Ghana is not an exception. Young people make up 33.3 percent of Ghana’s population, and 12 percent of them are unemployed.

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“It is therefore indeed heartwarming to see young men and women who have successfully completed apprenticeships in dressmaking/fashion, leather works, metal fabrication, auto mechanic/electric. This gives us as an institution mandated to promote and develop Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) the zeal to continuously provide all necessary support to these young women and men,” she stated.


The trade minister further urged beneficiaries of the intervention to immediately establish a venture and use the equipment for its intended purposes. “Do not wait for something big before you start your businesses. You have been given the necessary tools needed for you to start your business anywhere you find yourself.  I expect you to deliver your services with the highest professionalism, and remember to always put your customers at the centre of your business activities,” he urged.

Source:| Mohammed AWAL

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