President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday launched a business ideas competition aimed to stimulate entrepreneurial revolution to drive economic growth.
Dubbed the “Presidential Pitch”, the competition would be creating and promoting the right climate to support young indigenous businesses and start-ups.
Young people with creative business ideas present them to a panel that select the best out of the lot for support.
Speaking at the launch of the competition in Accra, President Akufo-Addo reiterated the commitment of his Government to create the most business friendly environment in Africa, where businesses flourished and gave jobs.
“That is why government has put in place measures intended to reduce the cost of doing business and improve the business environment.
Our actions have resulted in the growing stability of the macro-economy, reduction in inflation, reduction in utility tariffs, and an abolition of nuisance taxes whose aim is to shift the focus of the economy from taxation to production.”
At the maiden competition, organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Business Development, 10 young entrepreneurs presented their ideas and were subjected to questioning in the presence of the President.
A 19-year old young lady from Gwollu in the West Sissala District, Vanessa Aisha Limann, came top.
She received GH¢50,000.00 and the President also added GH¢25,000.00 to the amount for being the youngest among the 10.
The President noted that though Ghana had a lot of enterprising, creative and innovative youth seeking opportunities, the country had not done particularly well in incubating business ideas and developing them into global giants.
He said his administration was determined to change things and was leaving no stone unturned in its vision to move the nation from being an exporter of raw materials to that of a net exporter of value added goods and services.
“A journey of five thousand miles, they say, begins with the first step. We are taking the first steps.”
The President told the 10 first beneficiaries of the competition that he expected their start-up business to help create jobs, and, at least, employ three people each.
“Through periodic updates from the Ministry’s monitoring and evaluation systems, I am going to take personal interest in the way the beneficiary companies are run, as the Ministry helps nurture them into prominence.”
In addition to the “Presidential Pitch”, government, last year, launched a National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Plan (NEIP), with an initial start-up capital of US$10 million, to support young entrepreneur’s start-up their businesses.
President Akufo-Addo said through the NEIP, 500 young men and women across the country would receive funding to help expand their businesses.
“This will be the first time, in recent times, that a deliberate, systematic, integrated national policy has been instituted to support early stage start-ups and small businesses,” he added.
He spoke of measures put in place to reduce the cost of doing business and improve the business environment.
“Our actions have resulted in the growing stability of the macro-economy, reduction in inflation, reduction in utility tariffs, and an abolition of nuisance taxes whose aim is to shift the focus of the economy from taxation to production.”
President Akufo-Addo applauded the contestants for their products and presentations and he said he was confident that “in you, the contestants I have met today, the future of the Ghanaian private sector is extremely promising”.
He expressed his belief in Ghana’s manifest destiny, and in the capacity of Ghanaians to construct a new, prosperous Ghanaian civilisation that would reflect the progressive values and culture, which had defined the Ghanaian people through the ages.