Gov’t urged to prioritize youth entrepreneurship
Mrs Florence Larbi, Managing Director of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, said addressing the issue of youth entrepreneurship should be the priority of government, educational institutions and the nation’s development partners.
She said “This is the only way to provide employment opportunities to the teeming youth graduating from the universities and various tertiary institutions.
Mrs Larbi was speaking on theme: “Prospects and Challenges of Entrepreneurship in Ghana,” at the second Entrepreneurship Clinic at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi.
She said the slow rate of building small and medium scale enterprises (SME’s) had affected youth entrepreneurship in Ghana since most the youth lost interest in setting up businesses on their own.
The second Entrepreneurship Clinic is a week–long activity organized by the College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the Centre for Business Development for all final year students of the university to educate them on all aspects of entrepreneurship and small scale business management.
It is also to help them discover and utilize their potential in life and understand the business financing systems of Ghana.
Mrs Larbi said the lack of policy and adequate backing for private sector businesses by government and bureaucratic bottlenecks involved in establishing businesses had affected entrepreneurship in Ghana.
She called for more support and collaboration from the government to ensure the creation of Ghanaian owned businesses such as the UT Bank, Zoomlion and Tobinco Pharmaceuticals.
Mrs Larbi urged the academic institutions not to focus on courses that only equipped students with knowledge suitable for white collar jobs but also introduce courses that would enable them to start their own businesses as well.
“I believe students should not focus solely on theoretical aspects of the academic work but also transfer academic knowledge into practical knowledge for employment creation and wealth generation,” she said.
She said the state should not be seen as the ultimate employer and asked graduates to recognise that they were capable of setting up their businesses and promoting wealth creation in the country.
“In Ghana and other African countries, the educational systems train graduates for white collar jobs and not to set up their own businesses.
Today in Ghana, most young graduates expect the government or other companies to employ them,” she said, adding, “in the absence of government employment, they cannot do anything for themselves.”
She said no matter the challenges, with determination and hard work, students should learn positive attitudes to bring their dreams into reality.