One thousand, three hundred and fifty (1,350) businesses, from all ten regions of the country, are the first beneficiaries of the Presidential Business Support Programme, an initiative of the Akufo-Addo government.
Each of the 1,350 beneficiaries are to receive, from the Ministry of Business Development, continuous training and capacity building, mentorship and business advisory services, free accounting services, access to business networking opportunities, and, seed capital ranging from GHS10,000 to GHS100,000 each.
Speaking at the event at Jubilee House, President Akufo-Addo noted that over the past two decades, the countries that have made rapid economic strides have been the ones that have encouraged high levels of investment in entrepreneur development.
It was, thus, a happy-sad moment for the President when he learnt that seven thousand (7,000) micro, small and medium sized businesses applied for support under the Presidential Business Support Programme.
“Happy, because I was encouraged by the numbers of young Ghanaians wanting to start their own businesses. And, sad, because not all of them would be beneficiaries of this programme”, he said.
Nonetheless, all the 7,000 businesses underwent a well-structured training programme to build their managerial capacities for their various ventures, with the training programmes conducted in fifty (50) private incubation hubs across the country.
The successful 1,350 winners, according to President Akufo-Addo, were competitively selected upon the recommendations of the private incubation hubs in a transparent, efficient and equitable manner.
“This, I am confident, will guarantee the success and sustainability of the businesses, especially as the rate of interest on the monies advanced has been pegged at 10%, as against the average prevailing market rate of 26%”, he said.
President Akufo-Addo congratulated the selected businesses for not giving up but working hard to meet the set criteria, and urged them to seize the opportunity provided by the Programme, and demonstrate their entrepreneurial ability.
“To the unsuccessful applicants, I wish them the very best of luck in their future endeavours. Surely, this is not the end of the journey. As I have said before, my late beloved mother, Yeboakua, taught all her children, principally myself, her first born, that if, at first, you try and don’t succeed, try, try, and try again.’ They will have another opportunity next year to give it another shot, should they so wish”, the President added.
With the selected 1,350 businesses receiving training and support, President Akufo-Addo urged them to “create some thirty thousand (30,000) direct jobs within the next year, and several thousands of indirect jobs”.
The President assured the Ghanaian people and the business community that his government will continue to work towards the creation of a conducive environment for the private sector to thrive, stressing that “our macroeconomic indices point to the revitalisation and growth of the economy”.
With an impressive array of business people poised to make a difference, the President was confident that “our nation is on the cusp of a new, bold beginning, which will repudiate the recent culture of failure. Go out there and make us proud”.