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Opinions Mon, 13 Jan 2020

Entrepreneurship development in Ghana by Enactus Ghana

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Entrepreneurship is arguably the backbone of every economy. Their activity, however, depends on a positive appreciation of entrepreneurs in society.

Entrepreneur's success should be valued and the stigma of failure reduced. But in Ghana, the system seems different. Administrative barriers, on the other hand, is a major hurdle to starting a business.

Ghana has a very resourceful youthful population but the majority are unemployed and leave their lives either depending on family, friends or end up in all sorts of undesirable/very deviant ways.

The benefits of encouraging entrepreneurship goes beyond mere demand and supply. As people gain confidence, financial breathing room, and access to information, they gain the political will and are less likely to tolerate corrupt governments and unhealthy living conditions.

Then follows the trend of seeking higher levels of education for themselves and their children beyond the borders of the country, were possible, along with improvements in their home and community.

Most of the challenges to entrepreneurial development in Ghana are very old.

That entrepreneurial activity is beneficial in terms of creating stable and sustainable employment cannot be overemphasized.

Ghana has been unable to create and maintain the favourable environment needed to foster SMME development. There are a number of barriers which entrepreneurs in Ghana face.

According to Bridges.org (2002), the factors affecting entrepreneurial activity can generally be divided into four categories, they include;

A) Infrastructure: Quite often the barriers to starting and maintaining a business come down to simple, yet often insurmountable factors, such as lack of roads, facilities, electricity or phones.

B) Legal and regulatory framework: Governments need to have a positive perception of entrepreneurial activity, reduce the administrative burden on entrepreneurs, and coordinate among their agencies to ensure that the necessary resources are directed where they are needed.

C) Financial support: A major stumbling block for many potential entrepreneurs at the lowest end of the economic spectrum is lack of access to the credit or seed funding necessary to start a business. Entrepreneurs who are starting up larger businesses face difficulty raising investment capital and a lack of sound market-based policies.

D) Social: The concept of entrepreneurship is not native to any culture or society. The fear of failure can be a barrier. Creativity and innovation are not always valued traits. Ghana has social systems that creates dependence and hopelessness. Women and minorities especially need role models to demonstrate the positive outcomes to innovation and risk-taking.

An additional barrier is an overarching mindset that entrepreneurship cannot be taught, that it is a creative and innovative way of thinking that comes inherently to some people and not to others. While it is true that some individuals are gifted with creativity to develop new ways of doing things, creativity alone is not sufficient.

Ideas must be matched with basic skills and an understanding of business practices– and these are things that can be taught to help burgeoning entrepreneurs create successful businesses. The way forward A comprehensive approach to promoting entrepreneurship must work on three levels-individuals, firm and society.

To motivate individuals to become entrepreneurs, they should be made aware of the concept of entrepreneurship and this should be made sufficiently attractive option. They should be equipped with the right skills to turn ambitions into successful ventures.

Also, the government of Ghana should be ever ready to invest hugely into the technical and vocational training of the youth in second-cycle and tertiary institutions so that they can develop their skills. Many countries in Asia and Europe have shown it and Ghana can do it and become very resourceful.

About Enactus

At Enactus, we believe investing in students who take entrepreneurial action for others creates a better world for us all.

Our 72,000 students are entrepreneurial, values-driven social innovators across 1,730 campuses in 36 countries, positively impacting the lives of 1.3 million people each year.

Guided by educators and supported by business leaders, teams of students conduct needs assessments in their community, identify potential solutions to complex issues and implement community impact projects.

This results in communities benefiting from collaboration and fresh innovation, plus students gain the valuable experience to advance their personal and professional lives.

As in business, we believe that competition encourages innovation. For Enactus, this means more lives impacted every day.

An annual series of regional and national competitions showcases Enactus teams’ impact, evaluated by global business leaders. National champion teams advance to the prestigious Enactus World Cup for competition, collaboration and celebration; in 2019, the Enactus World Cup takes place 16-18 September in Silicon Valley, San Jose, California, USA.

With a head for business and a heart for the world, we live our values of integrity, passion, innovation and collaboration.

Columnist: enactus.org