Wednesday, 17 April

V/R: GEA, Mastercard F'dn launch business in a box project

Stakeholders in a group photogra

The Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA) and the Mastercard Foundation have launched the Business in a Box (BizBox) project in the Volta Region.

The goal of the 4-year project is to create dignified and fulfilling jobs for 250,000 young people in Ghana, with 70% being women and 10% Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), by 2027.

The project, a partnership between the Ghana Enterprise Agency and the Mastercard Foundation, is anchored on five broad intervention pillars; Youth Skills Development, Access to Market, Access to Start-up Kits, Youth Social Networks and Institutional Strengthening, Policy and Regulatory Support.

The project is aimed at all 16 regions and 261 districts of Ghana, through GEA's 210 Business Advisory Centres (BACs) and 37 Business Resource Centres (BRCs), which are the decentralised implementing arms of the agency.

The targets of the intervention are youth (persons between the ages of 15 and 35 years), persons with disabilities, primarily women and vulnerable female heads of households, girls (including single nursing mothers), and youth-led businesses or businesses with the capacity to employ youth.

It will also focus on supporting the following sectors in partnership with relevant industry players: Agriculture and Agribusiness-50%, Tourism and Creative Industry-30%, Building and Construction-10% and other sectors-10%.

Speaking at the launch and sensitisation in Ho on Wednesday, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Enterprise Agency, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, said the initiative marks a significant milestone in Ghana's collective efforts to empower the youth to create sustainable economic opportunities for the various communities.

She said the BizBox project builds on the successes of the Young Africa Works initiative, which was implemented from 2020 to 2022.

She indicated the BizBox intervention is designed to achieve even more by providing skills development training, mentorship, coaching, access to markets and regulatory support to 250,000 young women and men including Persons with Disabilities, adding 125, 000 young Ghanaians will benefit start-up kits to create new businesses and jobs, and extension better the livelihoods of others.

“In a country where the youth account for 57% of the total population, it is imperative to direct our resources towards their development to increase our labour market. 

“There is substantial evidence such interventions have a multiplicative impact on our society's job and wealth goals,” she noted.

She laid emphasis on the fact that the project is not just about numbers but about transforming lives and communities which aligns with the vision of the Mastercard Foundation to enable 3 million young women and men to access dignified and fulfilling jobs by 2030, adding it will address some key challenges faced by youth including the lack of entrepreneurship education, limited access to markets and job-relevant skills among others.

The Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, called on all stakeholders including civil, social religious and traditional leadership to encourage the youth to embrace the initiative for sustainable development.

He expressed gratitude to Mastercard Foundation and the Ghana Enterprise Agency for their efforts in supporting the youth.

Source: Mensah