Tue, Sep

Investment Opportunities Are Available For Young Entrepreneurs

Starting a business is not easy, but the joy of not being financially handicapped or unemployed overshadows the strenuous ordeal one has to go through to establish a company and the difficulty of getting the first client.

There is a global challenge of unemployment and entrepreneurship has been considered the solution. The youth needs to be innovative and venture out to start own businesses.

When people become entrepreneurs they design or produce products or offer services, generate income and employ others.

Educational institutions have acknowledged the need to train students to become entrepreneurs and students as part of their studies are encouraged to make entrepreneurial efforts.

Entrepreneurial activities amongst the youth

One trending entrepreneurial activity amongst ladies in Ghana today is beads-jewellery making and make-up artistry and for many young men photography and graphic designing is the preferred option.

The media has highlighted the role of many young people who have taken up the challenge to start a business and one of such enterprise is Egudzi beads designed by Ewurama Ricketts.

Egudzi beads is an Accra-based fashion house with a chic collection of neckpieces carefully selected to capture the very essence of elegance.

It is aptly captured by the brand tag-line; ‘Experience Elegance’ which is inspired by the sheer sophistication and style of the modern African woman.

Another enterprise highlighted by the media is Devless. It is one of the very few IT startups that has a product suited for software developers. It comprises young people harnessing their talents and skills to provide solutions in line with the increasing crave for technological solutions.

Edwin Tsatsu Salomey, the CEO of Devless, with his team recently won funding support through the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) programme.

Devless is an ‘open source Backend’ - a service for web and mobile application developers to rapidly develop their backend services and generate API endpoints for their applications using plug-&-play modules.

And Justice Tetteh, a fashion designer, known for his unique Gold Coast Stiches, has also garnered attention in the fashion industry with the nickname ‘Papa tailor’.

Challenges in the sector

All these noted entrepreneurs, amongst several others, have attained acclaim in spite of the various challenges they face.

“We know the system with our macro economy where interest rates are in the region of 30 per cent, making it very difficult for small businesses to borrow,” Justice Tetteh, said.

Other entrepreneurs in an interview with the Ghana News Agency discussed how they have been able to scale over various obstacles to attain success.

“I have learnt that things may go wrong even when you do everything right. And when they go wrong, it doesn’t mean you made a mistake. Sometimes, there is no obvious reason to continue because there is no sign of success but faith, hope and the end-picture you have should keep you persevering,” Terry Mante, an author and General Manager of Landmark Business Solutions, said.

Frank Mireku, General Manager of Timex Print Tech Limited, said self-discipline is a core value that every entrepreneur should adhere to: “You see as an entrepreneur, you work for yourself and manage your own affairs. You need a lot of discipline in order to manage your business, finances and time very well. Planning is also the key.”

Timex Print Tech Limited has provided printing solutions to various businesses such Alisa Hotel, Goldman Capital, Scribe Communications, Heartbeat Music and many others.

Though the expected governmental assistance is limited there are still opportunities that young Ghanaian entrepreneurs can grasp and local and international organisations are ready to support young people with their business ideas or startups.

Business startup competitions

The year begun with the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) announcing the opening of application to support young businesses in Africa with 5,000 dollars seed capital as part of its third cycle entrepreneurship programme.

The application stays open until the midnight of March 1, 2017.

World Bank Group Ideas for Action Competition 2017, every year brings together students and young professionals from around the world to design ideas for financing and implementing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Winners of the competition will present their ideas during the IMF & World Bank Annual Meetings, receive support from a dedicated startup accelerator at the Wharton School, and benefit from unique networking opportunities with other young leaders as well as some of the most senior decision-makers in international development, academia, and the private sector.

Valeo Innovation Challenge is also offering young students worldwide the opportunity to create a concept car for 2030. It should highlight the way it is used and should be more intelligent, intuitive, green and fun.

Teams of two to five people- students from any discipline can also take part in the Valeo project by presenting a relevant, innovative project in English.

The aim is to stimulate the creativity of students, enabling them to form multidisciplinary teams.

The Challenge is open to students worldwide who have completed their high school education and their academic teachers (maximum of one teacher per team).

Then also open to Ghanaians is the Queens Entrepreneurship Challenge (QEC), an undergraduate startup competition held in Toronto, Canada, with over $75,000 in prizes dedicated to helping talented entrepreneurs from around the world jump-start their businesses and their dreams.

Each year, it receives numerous business plan submissions from around the globe, and the top 15 teams are selected and invited to Toronto to pitch their business plans to a panel of Canadian business leaders.

The Hult Prize Foundation is a start-up accelerator for budding young social entrepreneurs emerging from the world’s universities.

It runs regional competitions in five cities around the world and winners receive 1 million dollars in seed capital, as well as mentorship and advice from the international business community.

The Ghana Entrepreneurship Challenge is organized by the Global Leadership Coalition in partnership with Orios Group, Terry Mante Exchange, ORios, PEDNET and 1M1B, to train young entrepreneurs to grow their idea into a launch-able and sustainable business.

With the MEST programme as well, aspiring entrepreneurs with a strong interest in technology and entrepreneurship from various countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire can apply and compete for 60 open spots for startup training and Incubator Programs.

The Innohub Accelerator Programme nurtures early stage start-ups on our fixed-term, cohort-based programmes, and that includes a seed capital of $10,000 in cash and business development support services.

‘Startupper of the Year’ by Total Petroleum Ghana is also an entrepreneurship challenge for all young Ghanaian Entrepreneurs.

MTN Entrepreneurship Challenge, a Pan-African competition, provides the platform for young talents or experienced entrepreneurs to develop and have the possibility of winning over $50,000 in the total prize giveaway.

It is a commendable effort for qualified candidates to seek to apply to any of stated programmes. And though the ultimate goal for all applicants may be to win, they should not lose sight of the training and mentoring sessions that they require to grow their businesses. Good luck!

A GNA feature by Caroline Pomeyie

Written By Peter Sarbah - The Black Stars seem pressured to break the 35-year trophy drought as they move to Gabon to start yet another campaign to position the team among the super powers of the continent

Gradually, Ghana’s huge image seem to be dwindling following their uninspiring performance during the 2016 games which has seen them dipped on the FIFA ranking to one of their worst ever.

Their campaign to Gabon started on a bright note with a resounding thrashing of Mauritius in 7-1 win at Kumasi. Then the team moved to beat Rwanda 1-0 in Kigali and dissipated Mozambique 3-1 in Accra.When the Stars seemed to be cruising smoothly to Gabon, Mozambique held them to a goalless draw game in Maputo before they bounced back to beat Mauritius 2-0 in Port Louis to seal qualification with a game to spare.

Their last game against Rwanda was reduced to mere formality as the team attached little seriousness to the game which ended 1-1 in Accra.


Poor FIFA ranking

The players would wish the memories of last year would quickly fade into oblivion, considering their performance both on the FIFA and CAF rankings.

They began the year on the 33rd position in the world and third on the continent, before dropping to the 41st and fourth the following month due to lack of international competitions.

By mid-year, the team gained back some points to finish the month of June on 37th and third positions on the globe and continent, respectively.

But their poor performance in both the World Cup and Africa Cup qualifiers towards the end of the year saw Avram Grant’s side recording one of their worse rankings both on the globe and the continent. The team finished the year as ninth best in Africa and 53rd in the world.


FA/Ministry feud

Upon assumption of office in January 2016, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Nii Lante Vanderpuye, was ruthless in his resolve to protect the public purse from what he perceived to be a cabal of corrupt ‘mafias’ of the Ghana Football Association who were milking the state to enrich themselves.

It started when the minister was said to have side-stepped any engagement from the FA to negotiate for a slash in the bonuses of the Black Stars players.

Subsequently, he meticulously scrutinised budgets from the football governing body and reluctantly approved or sometimes disapproved based on what he described as a bloated budget.

Nii Lante’s attempt to sanitise what many perceived to be a corrupt FA did not go down well with sections of the public, media and the FA.

His action was met with divided opinions, with either resistance or support from sections of the public and the media.

While his supporters praised him for being tough on the FA to stop the abuse of power and wanton dissipation of public funds, his critics believed he was treading on terrains that stretch beyond his remits and needed to tone down.

This disagreement degenerated into serious personality feud between the FA president, Kwesi Nyantakyi, and Nii Lante Vanderpuye, both of whom occasionally threw jabs at each other.

The situation even got out of hand when the minister refused to buy air tickets for the Black Stars players to fly down to honour their last AFCON qualifier match against Rwanda.

In his defence, Nii Lante argued that the team had already qualified for the competition and the outcome of that match was insignificant, therefore, Coach Avram Grant should fall on the local players to save the country some money.

That was not well received by the FA and it took the generosity of deputy skipper Andre Ayew and some other players to purchase tickets for the players to travel down to honour the final game.

Albeit the disagreement, they both tried to work together to ensure the Stars booked a ticket to the next AFCON competition.


Avram Grant continuous absence

One of the FA’s major concerns about Coach Avram Grant was his persistent absence from his duty post.

Despite being tasked to monitor local players and help in the upgrade of the skill of local coaches, the Israeli manager rarely spends time in the country.

He has often damned the consequences and vacated his duty post on the guise of going to monitor players abroad only to be seen working as a pundit for an international television network.

That behaviour angered the FA who had to summon him back to the country to take up his responsibilities.


World Cup qualifier

Ghana’s dreams of a fourth consecutive World Cup appeared to have been crashed as their faulty start to the campaign to Russia 2018 Mondial seemed to continue with each game.

That was the feeling of the public following a pedestrian game in the opening match which saw them draw goalless against the Cranes of Uganda in what most pundits had predicted a walk over for the Black Stars.

Afterwards, expectation was high among many Ghanaians in their second game against the Pharaohs of Egypt. And with the Stars’ 6-1 victory from their previous qualifier over the Pharaohs still fresh in the memory of many Ghanaians, many were optimistic the Stars could revive their World Cup hope with another victory.

Unfortunately, that hope was doused with 0-2 loss to the Egyptians.


Kevin/Muntari apologies

After a solemn reflection, and with another World Cup participation for the Black Stars looming, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari (‘bad boys’ of the team) decided to eat humble pie by apologising for their misdemeanor that brought disgrace to the country during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

For Kevin-Prince, although he is not particularly aware of why he was dismissed from the national team, he would fancy a return to the national team.

But Muntari showed remorse and asked Ghanaians to forgive him for his conduct at the World Cup that brought the name of the country into disrepute.


Players’ injuries

2016 will also go down as the year that saw many of the Black Stars players going back and forth the treatment room for recovery from various injuries.

Deputy skipper Andre Ayew was out for two months just after his first game for new club, West Ham United. Captain Asamoah Gyan was equally in and out of the treatment room and had to miss a couple of the Black Stars qualifiers.

Kwadwo Asamoah is still struggling to be fully fit after spending most part of 2016 in the treatment room. Abdul Majeed Waris also had a few injury concerns.


Source: graphic.com.gh