A good number of resourceful and dedicated Ghanaians are digging deep into their creative reserves and are discovering their entrepreneurial skills in different businesses with great potential for growth.
These talented individuals, are only looking for the right connection to concretize their business concepts, unleash them onto the world to create jobs and wealth. The connection they are looking for are investors.
The interesting fact of the business world is, while some have money and other resources for which they are looking for opportunities to invest, there are other gifted and ready to go entrepreneurs who are also looking for capital to roll out.
Technoserve Ghana with financial support from Google.org, the philanthropist wing of the world leader in internet search engines Google.com has been creating the platform for this to happen.
They have been offering bright, daring and passionate entrepreneurs the opportunity to test their capabilities at reviving or starting their businesses. And Technoserve has been able to achieve that through Ghana’s National Business Plan Competition – a three stage business plan and development competition.
The first competition was organised in 2006. The first phase not unexpectedly, begins with hundreds of competitors who submit an outline of their business plans. Judges then assess these outlines out of which sixty are selected to move on to the second stage.
Indeed, every stage comes with a benefit which includes training in business development and how to write the business plan.
The sixty who qualify for the second stage are taken through an intensive seven-week course in business management. This course is a ‘Mini MBA’. It is a rigorous, deep, challenging and very thorough business development and management course.
The course is run by some of the finest in business education in Ghana. The Faculty include Prof. John Ahetor, a Chartered Accountant and former Professor at the University of Ghana Business School, Mr. Ali Nakyea, a Tax Consultant, Mr. Senyo Dzandu, Chartered Accountant and Consultant, Mr. Kofi Bentil, Marketing Consultant and Lecturer, Ashesi University. Other resource persons are Dr. Patrick Awuah, President of Ashesi University, Hermann Chinery-Hesse of The Softtribe and the man who is known as Ghana’s Bill Gates, Mrs. Ellen Hagan of Elaine and Kobby Asmah of Type Ltd.
During the course, mentors, who are all accomplished businessmen and women in relevant industries, are assigned to each participant to coach them through developing and fine-tuning their business plans.
At the end of the seven-week training, all the sixty participants, with the help of their mentors then complete a business plan to be submitted for scrutiny by another group of judges, most of them captains of industry.
From this stage, twenty successful participants get selected to move to the third and final stage of the competition from where the participant with the most viable and bankable business plan wins the prize for the overall best winner.
The overall winner for the 2006 competition was Mr. Joseph Tackie, who already owns and manages a meat processing business. The winner for the 2007 event was Mrs. Sheila Ocansey a Human Resource practitioner, whose innovative business concept was the distribution of fresh fruits.
Subsequently, the 120 graduates of the first and second programmes have formed an association known as the BBB Alumni, (BBB stands for Believe, Begin, Become).
Each member of this group has a complete business plan and in some cases businesses that are ready for financing and re-engineering. And most of them have already made substantial investments into these projects.
The businesses they have developed range from agro-processing, ICT, manufacturing, housing, hospitality, education, publishing and agriculture.
Investors do not need to look far for opportunities to finance businesses that have been developed by any member of this group. These are credible business ideas that have been well thought, designed and developed, with the support and guidance of those who matter in entrepreneurship in Ghana.
This group of passionate and committed business people is a gold mine for angel investors, venture capitalists and financial institutions.
To contact this group visit this site.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi