Accra, Nov 27, GNA – A group of young entrepreneurs in the Northern Region has appealed to government to streamline National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) and its processes for selecting beneficiaries to ensure that only qualified persons benefit from it.
They also suggested that a third party be engaged to evaluate applications to NEIP instead of politicians as they were minded to select people they thought supported their political party thereby sidelining other qualified citizens.
The young entrepreneurs, who preferred to be anonymous, raised the issues at an entrepreneurship forum in Tamale organized by the Youth Empowerment for Life (YEfL), a non-governmental organization, to share opportunities and challenges the youth faced in creating their own businesses.
The forum formed part of engagements of YEfL to support the youth to identify opportunities in their communities and take advantage of them as well as help the youth to improve their own business initiatives.
The young entrepreneurs, who own various businesses in the agriculture and service sectors, could not understand why they were not selected as beneficiaries of NEIP, saying they were sidelined even though they submitted viable business proposals to NEIP.
The NEIP was established by the current government to provide an integrated national support for start-ups and small businesses to amongst others build an industry-driven economy capable of providing decent jobs that are suitable and sustainable for development.
In line with NEIP, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia in September, this year, presented cheques for various amounts ranging from Ghc10,000.00 to GHc100,000.00 to 250 entrepreneurs in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions to support their operations.
The beneficiary entrepreneurs applied for the funds through NEIP and were selected following appraisals of their applications.
Mr Abdul Ganiyu Alhassan, Technical Advisor on Advocacy, Youth and Gender at YEfL spoke about YEfL’s entrepreneurship programmes, saying its Boot Camp initiative was helping to transform lives of young people in the Region as a number of them, who benefited from the initiative, had established their own businesses contributing to the development of society.
Mr Alhassan expressed need for government to expand its youth-related interventions to create more opportunities for the youth to amongst others create their own businesses.
Mr MacCarthy Mac-Gbathy, Co-founder and Director of Hopin Academy, advised young entrepreneurs to be moderate and start their businesses in a small way and cultivate the habit of saving, in order to expand.