Fifty-five young entrepreneurs receive support to start businesses

Accra- The Youth Inclusive Entrepreneurial Development Initiative for Employment (YIEDIE), a project led by the Global Communities and partners, on Thursday supported 55 young entrepreneurs with funding and tooling to start their businesses.

The 55 beneficiary businesses were awarded with funds and tooling, amounting to GH277,800.00, bringing to 100 businesses so far supported by the project in the Greater Accra Region.

Among the beneficiaries are draughtsmen, electrical technicians, tilers, painters, fibreglass and aluminium fabricators, metal fabricators, and carpenters, among many others.

The project is being supported by Mastercard Foundation and implemented by the Global Communities as the lead partner.

Other partners are Opportunities Industrialisation Centre Ghana, Aurora Business Network, Republic Boafo Limited, and Artisans Association of Ghana.

Mrs Kafui Vera Mills-Odoi, the Project Manager, YIEDIE, said the five-year project, which started in 2015, was designed to create economic opportunities within Ghana’s construction sector value chain for disadvantaged youth from 17 to 24 years.

She said the project has since its inception supported 279 businesses in all the project cities- Accra, Kumasi, Takoradi and Ashiaman; with funding to the tune of more than G.7 million, adding that more youth businesses would be supported by the project before the end of the year.

She said the perception people had about the construction industry that it belonged to the non-performing people, who had to go and learn a trade, ought to change as it was negatively affecting the sector.

Mrs Kafui said the project sought to boost the confidence associated with profession in the built sector, whose approaches had kept on changing with the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) certification requesting that the built environment is carried out in a particular way.

She said the issue of the importation of artisans from neighboring countries showed that the country was deficient in numbers and also some or a major part of Ghana’s artisans were not prepared to enhance their skills.

She said the issue of skill building is a long term objective and urged the beneficiaries to spend more time in enhancing their skills already acquired through the project.

She said We are seeing a new dimension in what we are looking at as skills development but a lot more has to be done and a lot of opportunity should be given for these people to test their skills.

On his part, Mr Emmanuel Sin-nyet Asigiri, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority (NYA), commended the YIEDIE project implementers for the immense contributions made in the lives of the young entrepreneurs.

He said a glance into the construction industry in Ghana showed that the sector was being dominated by foreign nationals while young Ghanaians youth roam the streets.

He said moving forward the NYA would establish a relationship with the YIEDIE project, adding that as a key government agency that is supposed to spearhead development, we will put our heads together and see what we can do for the young people.

Mr Asigiri urged the beneficiaries to serve as ambassadors in informing the other young people who have not made their lives productive to take advantage of these opportunities.

He said already the NYA has developed and would soon roll out similar projects to benefit 10,000 young people across the country.

He said the project dubbed ‘Skills and Employability Project’ has eight modules such as beads making, metal fabrication, bakery, and cosmetology, among others to be rolled out to help address the unemployment challenges faced by the country.

Source: Ghana News Agency