Business News of 2014-05-23

US inspires entrepreneurs in Ghana

The United States of America (USA) has started a programme to inspire young persons across the world, including those in Ghana, to start enterprises and benefit from access to market and technical support opportunities in the US.

The Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) is an Obama initiative built around leading private sector companies and executives in the United States to mentor and inspire young people home and across selected countries.

Currently, there are 11 self-made successful businessmen and women who are committed to sharing their time, energy, ideas and experience to help inspire and grow the next generation of entrepreneurs across the world.

“Entrepreneurship is good for every country. That's why we introduced PAGE, which involves US agencies and some of the well-known American private sector leaders, to provide mentorship and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs across the world. We know it will be good for Ghana and the world at large,” the US Secretary of Commerce, Ms Penny Pritzker, said in Accra last Monday.

She said this at a news conference on entrepreneurship with selected journalists shortly after she had interacted with young entrepreneurs at the Meltwater Entrepreneurship School of Technology (MEST) located at East Legon in Accra.

Ms Pritzker interviewed and interacted with the young entrepreneurs in the company of Ms Nina G. Vaca, the Chief Executive and Chairperson of the Pinnacle Group, a $600-million firm she founded in her living room with only $300.

MEST assists young Ghanaians to set up information and communications technology-related enterprises after receiving a two-year training. Some of the enterprises there have become global icons, rendering services to blue chip companies in the United States and other parts of the world from their incubator office in East Legon, Accra.

The Secretary of Commerce encouraged the entrepreneurs at MEST to continue to give their best and assured that her department would assist them to enable them to meet their corporate goals and objectives.

Later at the news conference, Penny and Nina took turns to underscore the role of entrepreneurs and why the US was bent on spreading the message across the world.

Ms Pritzker said entrepreneurship and the building of businesses across the world would support global growth and bring stability in the global economy.

“This work is extremely important for global growth. We want our youth to start businesses. If we help with start-ups around the world, we can spur on global growth,” she stressed.

According to Ms Vaca, while access to capital was important in business, access to opportunities, education, training and above all, inspiration was equally critical.

PAGE, launched in April, will in the coming months outline how it will intervene with access to capital and training while encouraging women entrepreneurs.

The US Secretary of Commerce is heading 20 leading American companies on an energy business development trade mission to Ghana and Nigeria.

The goal is to promote US exports and expand US companies’ presence in Africa by helping American firms to launch or increase their businesses in the energy sector.

The firms on the mission have the expertise to help African countries develop and manage energy resources and systems, as well as promote power generation, transmission and distribution.