Mr John Kumah, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan (NEIP), on Thursday urged graduates to stop being hopeful of getting employment into white colour jobs and be innovative.
He said that was the only way to take hold of the future and change situations concerning their lives.
Mr Kumah was speaking at a Breakfast Seminar of the Graduate Students’ Association of Ghana, Legon Chapter, in Accra.
The event seeks to draw the attention of stakeholders to the promotion of entrepreneurship, which is as an important strategy to leverage the energy of individuals and society towards the creation of jobs.
Mr Kumah said: “Graduates are the answers to their own unemployment problems and they need to wake up and start thinking of how best they can change things for themselves”.
He said a lot of graduates believed that immediately after school, there should be ”big white colour jobs waiting for them but these things do not happen anymore.”
He said government had trust in the youth to help change the unemployment situation adding: “We are counting on you and from today if you are hopeful that anyone will create or give you jobs, re-think”.
Mr Kumah said government set up the NEIP Fund with 10 million dollars to support small medium enterprises with good innovative ideas to contribute to the development of the economy.
The Fund initially received 7,000 applications across the country, who were trained through business hubs and later supported 1,350 with funding with a minimum of GH¢10,000.00 and maximum of GH¢100,000.00.
He said the fund also provided access to the global market for those small businesses.
The CEO said management of the Fund received 80 per cent repayment rate from its beneficiaries, which made some of them to pay ahead of time to enable them to access more funding.
He called on graduates and all start-ups to take advantage of government’s intervention to improve their business ideas and businesses.
Dr Michael Agyekum Addo, an Entrepreneur, said the 21st century came with a new resolution, which calls for a change of mindset towards entrepreneurship.
He said it was, therefore, important to harness any business idea that came their way and develop the right attitudes to put it into operation.
Mr Rock Ashley, the President of Graduate Students Association of Ghana, Legon Chapter, said many graduates with business ideas found it difficult to succeed in their quest to start and grow their businesses.
“Hence, the need for such encounter with industry players, and policy makers among others to help start-ups find their grounds, expand and create the quantum of employment required to enhance livelihood of the Ghanaian, as well as boost the economy,” he said.
He expressed the hope that this would be an opportunity to orient graduates and launch them onto the pedestal to successful entrepreneurship.