Professor Mark Adom-Asamoah, Provost of the College of Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has said the authorities has prioritised to develop the entrepreneurial acumen of students.
The idea, he explained, was being advanced by the various Colleges in collaboration with the University’s Business School, mandated to provide hands-on entrepreneurial skills training in order to enrich the expertise of students for self-employment.
Currently, they have put in place a state-of-the-art Business Incubator and other relevant research facilities and tools needed to nurture and also fine-tune business ideas, plans and models of students and young graduates to create wealth.
Prof. Adom-Asamoah, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Kumasi, on the sidelines of this year’s ‘Green Entrepreneurship Awards’ ceremony hosted by the Brew-Hammond Energy Centre, indicated that the main objective was to reduce to the barest minimum graduate unemployment in the country.
‘EvaTECH Ecooler Ventures’, a storage firm set up by a team of KNUST students to address post-harvest losses in fruits and vegetables, was presented with a cheque for 5, 000 Euros as a start-up grant to further develop their business plans.
Additionally, ”Nonafate Company Limited’, established by a team of students from the same university to provide safe and environmentally-friendly irrigation services, also received a cheque for 5, 000 Euros as grant to realise their corporate objectives.
The financial support was provided by the North Rhein-Westphalia State Government in Germany, as well as the German Cooperation for International Development (GIZ).
The awards seek to promote sustainable enterprise development among students and young graduates in order to motivate them to come up with brilliant ideas to solve environmental problems and create jobs for themselves and other people.
It is a partnership project involving KNUST, Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences (BRSU) in Germany, and the University of Cape Coast (UCC).
Prof. Adom-Asamoah indicated that the essence of university education was to address development challenges in the society, thereby bringing prosperity to the people and it was appropriate that policy-makers invested in the University’s research activities and innovative ventures to be able to carry out its mandate successfully.
Prof. Kwasi Obiri-Danso, the Vice-Chancellor of KNUST, in a message delivered on his behalf, affirmed their commitment to build the requisite linkages with stakeholders locally and abroad with the view to improving the University’s academic programmes to reflect demands on the job market.
Dr Emmanuel W. Ramde, Director of the Brew-Hammond Energy Centre, disclosed that the two student enterprises which claimed the awards were selected after a keen competition which saw more than 20 different student teams submitting their business plans for vetting.
He said the cheques had been designed as start-up grants to provide the needed incentives for the firms to realise their goals, adding that, the committee of experts would continue to monitor the progress of those firms in their operations.
They were determined to work with them to improve their efficiency and service delivery.