Upper West youth receive entrepreneurship training

A business forum to promote entrepreneur­ship among the youth, was held at the weekend in Wa, the Upper West Regional capital.

Dubbed: “Igniting Dreams 2023,” the 5th edition of the annual entrepreneurship devel­opment programme, sought to promote business ideas among young people in the region.

It is also to make them less dependent on government and other employers for job, as well as provide them with training and mentorship.

Executive Director for the Coalition for Positive Impact, in charge of the programme, Mr Maazu Bayuoni, said the outfit in the last four years, distributed seed money of at least GH¢100, 000 to young entrepreneurs in the region.

She noted that “Ghana’s youth unemployment rate as of 2021 stood at 19.7 per cent, indicating a 7.6 per cent increase over the last seven years and the region,which according to the Ghana Poverty Mapping Report of 2015 is the poorest in Ghana, recorded 18 per cent unemploy­ment rate among the youth in the 2021 Population and Housing Census.”

Mr Bayuoni said the increase in unemployment was a source of worry to security as jobless youth were mostly vulnerable to nefar­ious activities such as terrorism, armed robbery and cybercrime.

He said greater number of young people who wanted to ven­ture into entrepreneurship lacked the requisite training and capital.

Mr Bayuoni said “If young en­trepreneurs could receive training and funding for their businesses, it will help create millions of decent jobs for them”.

He said “This year’s Igniting Dreams Prize received over 70 ap­plications, and 10 were selected for the Igniting Dreams Fellowship to undertake one-month business development training.

Mr Bayuoni said “We are here to listen to consider their business plans. Every one of them will receive support, but the ultimate prize of GH¢10,000 will be award­ed to the winner”.

He thanked Sangu Delle Foun­dation, Rabito Clinic, Reliance Fidelity International, Noni Hub and Antika Company Limited for supporting the programme.

At the end of the business pitch, Amishea Company received the ultimate prize after emerging winner with second and third plac­es going to Unit Development and Royal Avielle Ventures respectively.

The programme since its in­ception has reached out to at least 3,000 youth in the region, in the last five years, and had provided 21 youth entrepreneurs with resources, leadership skills and funding, to enable them improve their businesses.


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