Using GH100 million to support young entrepreneurs, spurious-ILAPI Boss

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Chief Executive
Officer (CEO) and President of policy think tank Institute for Liberty and
Policy Innovation (ILAPI), Peter Bismark Kwofie says the use of GHc100 million
for capacity building for entrepreneurs by government was a terrible idea.

The think tank
development expert said the decision by government to select only a few
individuals and give them support do not have a measurable outcome.

He wants
government to put an end to the direct entrepreneurship intervention and rather
concentrate on its primary role of less taxation and less regulation.

The Minister for Business Development, Mohammed
Ibrahim Awal has revealed that his ministry has so far spent about GHC 100
Million as part of its many initiatives to build capacity of entrepreneurs
across the country.

The Ministry has for the past two years
implemented a number of initiatives including the Presidential Business
Support, Green Business development, Capacity building for women and disabled
entrepreneurs among others.

Mr. Awal said government is ready to spend more money
to build the capacity of young entrepreneurs in order to give them a
competitive advantage in the Era of the Africa Continental Free Trade
Agreement.

“The monies spent so far, that is the GH¢100
Million, were used for capacity building and for funding. And we will be
spending more to make sure our young people compete.”

He further revealed that the Ministry have managed to train, 19,000 young entrepreneurs. Out of that number, 7 thousand were trained in 2018, while 12 thousand have so far been trained in 2019. Out of the trained number for 2018, 1,350 entrepreneurs have received funding from between GHC 10,000 to GH¢100,000.

The Ministry says it plans to increase its support to 3 thousand entrepreneurs for 2019 with funding at a rate of 10 percent.

However, Mr.
Kwofie says the idea is not measurable and ineffective.

‘’That government ought to be the
catalyst – providing adequate regulatory and capital flows while assessing and
monitoring success and failure and not to select the few and give them monies
that do not have any measurable outcome. It would best, perhaps, if government
would put a stop to the direct entrepreneurship intervention and concentrate on
its primary role of less taxation and less regulation.’’

He opined that ‘’Entrepreneurship
is absolutely a private sector activity. An individual or a small group of
like-minded individuals decide to set up a business and raise some capital. If
things go well, sales grow and they can hire more people. What does any of this
have to do with the government?’’

In his view, ‘’ when the overall environment for business is bad, many
entrepreneurs will fail. Loans cannot be recouped and jobs would be lost. It is
not about supporting private men with funds because not all individuals with
entrepreneurial ideas have entrepreneurial behaviour but by developing economic
entrepreneurial turf and improving the ease of doing business for local
businesses.’’

Read Below his full reaction:

To piquant economic growth and job
creation through the implementation of entrepreneurship and innovation
programmes has been a common central idea in government policies. The Ghana’s
Business Development Ministry has disclosed that, more than 200 jobs have been
made with subsidies given to youthful business people somewhere in the range of
18 and 35 years with splendid business ideas and 20 youthful business people
were helped a year ago with financing, going from GHS25,000.00 to GHS50,000.00.
In another vein,10 people were supported with funding between GHS25,000 to
GHS60,000. In sum, the ministry stated to have spearheaded about 4,750 jobs
created under the ‘Capacity-Building for Young Entrepreneurs and Start-ups’
programme. Is this not a good news? Oh Yes!

In 2014, Ex-President
John Dramani Mahama launched a GH10 Million Youth Enterprise Support (YES)
Programme. A seed fund aimed at assisting young Ghanaians who have innovative
business plans to achieve their full potential of which monies will be paid
back with interest. Did YES achieve its intent? Where are the businesses and
the individuals?

Entrepreneurship is absolutely a private
sector activity. An individual or a small group of like-minded individuals
decide to set up a business and raise some capital. If things go well, sales
grow and they can hire more people. What does any of this have to do with the
government?

When the overall environment for
business is bad, many entrepreneurs will fail. Loans cannot be recouped and
jobs would be lost. It is not about supporting private men with funds because
not all individuals with entrepreneurial ideas have entrepreneurial behaviour
but by developing economic entrepreneurial turf and improving the ease of doing
business for local businesses. Government is responsible for the overall
economic infrastructures in a country, and these include access to education,
cheap transport, accessible roads, electricity, affordable housing units and
offices and fewer regulation.

A bad business regulatory environment
would lead to a stunted economic investment and growth. Government has a key
impact on how many new businesses are created and sustained. Entrepreneurial
growth can be accelerated by creating more conducive conditions that support
business. That government ought to be the catalyst – providing adequate regulatory
and capital flows while assessing and monitoring success and failure and not to
select the few and give them monies that do not have any measurable outcome. It
would best, perhaps, if government would put a stop to the direct
entrepreneurship intervention and concentrate on its primary role of less
taxation and less regulation.

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