Over 2,000 participants were trained under the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) Business Plan Competition from the 8th to the 12th of January 2018 within the Northern Sector. The event was launched on the 18th of December 2017 in Accra by the Minister of Business Development, Hon. Ibrahim Awal.
The NEIP Business Plan Competition is being organized by the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), together with its Private Sector Implementation Partner (PSIP) African SME Organization and the Academic Partner, China Europe Internal Business School (CEIBS).
Training began in the Greater Accra Region on the 18th of December 2017 with the total number of 750 participants trained followed by 5 regions within the Northern sector. This included: Tamale in the Northern region with 452 businesses trained, Wa in the Upper West Region: 97, Bolgatanga in the Upper East: 166, Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo region: 407 and Kumasi in the Ashanti Region: 1152.
This was aimed at thoroughly training applicants with knowledge to fine-tune their businesses and develop a business plan that would attract both
local and foreign investors. This was also to aid applicants run sustainable and independent businesses. Representatives of the Government of Ghana launched the training in the various regions during the opening ceremonies with remarks by representatives from the Ministry of Business Development and the Private Sector Implementation Partner, African SME Organisation.
For the Northern sector, training began in Tamale, on the 8th of January with over 452 businesses present. This was held at the Radach Lodge and Conference Centre for applicants from the Northern Region.
The regional Minister for Tamale, Hon. Salifu Saed launched the training with remarks from the CEO of African SME Organisation (PSIP) Yaw Asamoah.
Mr. Yussif Yakubu the program’s manager for the Minister for Business Development delivered the keynote address on behalf of the Minister, Hon. Mohammed Ibrahim Awal. Mr Yussif Yakubu stressed on the importance of SMEs and their contribution to the development of the country. He also mentioned that, despite the immense contribution this sector makes to the development of this country, many SMEs are faced with numerous challenges of which access to capital is a crucial challenge. It is on this basis that the Government has launched the NEIP initiative.
The Upper West and the Ashanti Region followed on the 10th of January. Over 97 businesses were trained at GNAT Hall in Wa. A representative of the Regional Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Abdulai (Regional Coordinating Director) launched the training with remarks from Prof Matthew Tsamenyi of CEIBS.
Alhaji Abubakar Abdulai spoke about how crucial it was for young entrepreneurs, existing and non-existing businesses both traditional and Innovation-Driven Enterprises to receive adequate training to equip them with the required tools to be able to compete with world standards.
Participants interacted with the facilitators during the question and answer sessions. Some essential questions asked included: If participants are unsuccessful in progressing to the next level, would they receive feedback as to where they fell short?
A total number of 1,152 participants were trained in Kumasi at the Sarah Mensah Auditorium Business School of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The Communication Specialist for the Ministry of Business Development, Mr. Kofi Twum-Boafo represented the Ministry and delivered the keynote address on behalf of the sector Minister Hon. Mohammed Ibrahim Awal together with Nana Bafuor Agyei Kesse IV the Adumhene of Kumasi who represented Otmfuo Osei Tutu II the Asantehene as the guest speaker for the event. Other traditional leaders in the Ashanti Region were present.
The success of the Kumasi training was climaxed with many success stories of which Odei Artta, founder of Artta Junior Footwear is one. Odei spoke about how useful the information was for his business. According to him, though he was a business student he has received additional information to make series of changes to his business plan to meet world standards.
166 entrepreneurs in the Upper East Region also received training on the 12th of January at the Tap Hotel.
The Regional Coordinating Director, Alhaji Chief Mahamadu Azonko Assibi launched the training programme on behalf of the Regional Minister for Bolgatanga: Hon. Rockson Ayine Bukari.
Addressing the opening session in Bolgatanga was the Programme Manager of the Ministry for Business Development, Mr Yakubu Yussif. Following the successful first phase of the initiative, many participants spoke about the success of the training. Richard Abogre. A director for an IT based company spoke about how much information he has received on funding for his business because he is looking to scale up.
Dorcas Afore, the CEO of Advocacy for Social Inclusion in Girls Education which is involved in craft and currently into basket weaving. Dorcas says she has received the right skills to prepare a good business in order to scale up.
About 407 applicants were trained at the GNAT Hall at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo region. The Programmes Manager, Kojo Frimpong gave the keynote address on behalf of the Minister for Business Development.
Deputy CEO for NEIP Statsy Ofei-Darko encouraged the entrepreneurs on the need to take advantage of the initiative to develop their businesses. She said in her speech, “ this is a great opportunity to showcase the viable business ideas we have in Ghana”.
Ellen Darko from Sunyani testified of how beneficial the training was to her. Ellen is an MB holder and a marketing professional currently practising with a tertiary institution. She spoke about how the training brought to light the practicality of her job which she intends implementing at her school Nelles Educational.
The NEIP Business Plan Competition training will continue within the coming weeks in the other regions including Western, Eastern, Central, Volta and Greater Accra region. Applicants will receive a detailed e-mail and text message with more information on the training. This will be sent to the contact information provided by applicants on the NEIP Business Plan Competition form, which was submitted during the Call for Proposals.