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Entrepreneurship can save the economy

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Some stakeholders have called for stronger partnership between industry, academia, and policymakers to use entrepreneurship to transform the country’s economy.

They expressed confidence that with the right government policies, entrepreneurial education, affordable financing schemes for businesses, the country stood the chance of becoming a major economic force, the world over.

At the opening of a two-day Financial Innovation and Enterprise Conference in Accra on Thursday, December 14, the stakeholders encouraged enhanced public-private partnerships to achieve that goal.

The conference was organised by the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) in collaboration with Birmingham City University, University of Sunderland, Institute for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship, and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programmes ACBSP.

Speaking at the event, Ms Abena Osei-Asare, a Deputy Minister of Finance, stated that: “By exploring the interconnections between entrepreneurial education, the business environment, and financing today, we open the gateway to transformative change.”

She referred to a World Bank data to highlight the importance of entrepreneurship in economic development, noting that, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for example, represented more than 95 per cent of registered firms worldwide.

Also, SMEs account for more than 50 per cent of jobs and contribute more than 35 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in emerging economies.

Ms Osei-Asare explained that the government, recognising the key role of entrepreneurs and private businesses, made regulatory and legislative reforms, including registration, insolvency and tax arbitrations to support them.

That, she said would reposition businesses to leverage opportunities and mitigate risks.

Dr Richard Ampofo Boadu, Administrator, Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), said it was important to acknowledge the unique challenges and opportunities in the economy and adopt educational programmes to solve them.

He called for strategic collaborations between government, academia and industry, to provide tailored entrepreneurial education, alternative financial modules and the right policy framework, which he noted would contribute to making Ghana a robust economy.

Javed Hussain, a professor of Entrepreneurial Finance, Birmingham City University, explained that by bringing academia closer to businesses that provided bread and butter to people, the Ghanaian economy would transform.

“We need to promote policies that will enable financial institutions to collect information for the betterment of everyone, especially, in lending to SMEs,” Prof Hussain said.

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