Yofi professes belief in SMEs, advocates robust partnerships within Ecosystem

Mr Yofi Grant

The CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Yofi Grant, has stated his centre is not only focused on attracting foreign investors to the country, but it is also interested in the growth of indigenous companies including startups.

During the second edition of #PatrioticSpaces on Twitter, Grant pointed out that the center is also interested in fostering entrepreneurial prospects for Ghanaian youth by offering forums for idea-sharing with seasoned CEOs.

“GIPC also facilitate indigenous direct investment, mostly in partnership with foreign direct investment,” the investment banker said.

“But we think we stretch beyond that mandate and clearly see the great opportunity of empowering the young people to build businesses.”

Speaking on the topic: “Becoming your own boss,” Grant said: “It’s those small businesses of young people that become the blue chips of Ghana and in future become investors in other markets.”

According to him, the youth must begin to focus more on co-investments and partnerships if they want to expand their businesses.

“For us at GIPC, the issue of partnerships is very critical,” Grant said. “We hold workshops and seminars with CEOs for young people to learn from their mistakes or avoid the pitfalls and also for them to get the necessary advice.”

YouStart is ideal

Grant beckoned the youth to utilize the government’s YouStart programme because “access to capital is difficult and the programme [YouStart] is a very fundamental initiative that will empower a lot of young people.”

“Don’t lose hope if things are not coming to you the way you wanted. Let’s not get discouraged even if the government is not doing anything. Don’t take a ‘no’ for an answer. Keep pushing,” he added.

Assist women in business

The MP for Ablekuma North, Sheila Bartels while speaking on the forum also called on the government to reserve a quota of financial assistance for women-owned enterprises in Ghana.

Bartels said women requires a lot of backing in order to compete effectively in the business sector, and making financial aids available to them will help create more jobs.

“We need to intentionally create quotas for women-owned businesses when it comes to financial assistance,” Bartels said.

“The government agencies and departments must through their compacts and programmes help women businesses to become successful.”

According to the member, if the government wants to give young people the confidence to launch their own firms, information access is crucial.

“There are so many government programmes, so the youth must take advantage of them. The government must also support them with timely information,” she said. “We need to find ways to pay a lot of attention to Ghanaian innovations and businesses that are doing well. We must find ways to project them.”

Take advantage of YouStart

Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, CEO of the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), formerly known as the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), urged the youth to take advantage of the recently launched YouStart program.

In the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, the YouStart initiative was introduced to help young entrepreneurs obtain access to the resources, markets, and technology they need to launch, develop, and expand their own businesses.

Over the following three years, one million jobs are to be created. The government will fund the YouStart program with GHC 10 billion.

She said the government is committed to empower the youth to “become their own bosses”.

“The government thinks people should become their own bosses and so because of that it is introducing the YouStart programme,” Yankey-Ayeh said. “So, the youth should apply for that or some of our other funds that are coming in through the World Bank project.”

The GEA Head stated that in order to make an informed decision when applying for loans, young people must examine the benefits and drawbacks of the numerous financial solutions available on the market.

“We want to build an entrepreneurial nation… what we desire is that businesses must access the right type of funding so they can build their businesses,” Yankey-Ayeh told the over 2,900 participants on the Twitter spaces.

She added: “We really believe that the opportunities are there. Reach out to us. Apply for our progrommes and I keep saying that sometimes it’s not all about money, but we can also provide the technical support.”

The virtual Twitter forum with theme: “Becoming your own boss.” #PatrioticSpaces takes place every Wednesday at 8pm on Twitter.


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