As the government prepares to present the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament on November 17, the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has been taking inputs from young entrepreneurs on how it can deepen its entrepreneurial interventions.
Youth entrepreneurship has become topical in recent weeks, following public discussions about how more young Ghanaians can be supported to succeed in private business.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah, through a live virtual conversation on Sunday October 31, dubbed “#ListenUP”, sought to take feedback from young entrepreneurs on how the entrepreneurial ecosystem was functioning.
Feedback from the session would be channelled into government’s decision-making processes to inform its policy directions for the future.
Organised by the Ministry of Information, the live audio conversation on social networking site, Twitter, is an occasional platform for deepening engagements with the Ghanaian people, and at the same time take feedback that would aid government to better roll out its policies.
The Minister was joined by nearly 2,000 young entrepreneurs, who freely shared their feedback and suggestions for improvement.
Things the Government must consider
The Deputy National Youth Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Edem Agbana, who is also into farming, suggested that one of the means government can support young entrepreneurs in the country was through the creation of a Start Up Banks that would make available funds to young entrepreneurs at low lending rates to enable them properly fund their businesses.
He bemoaned the lack of tax holidays targeted at young entrepreneurs, and said a lot of companies that enjoy tax holidays in the country were companies that enjoyed economies of scale, stressing that compared to these companies, young start-ups must be supported with tax reliefs to make them competitive.
One participant, who also joined the Space, bemoaned business registration in the country, noting that young entrepreneurs faced difficulties to get their business registered, and often times get frustrated.
He said though government had made frantic efforts at digitising the business registration process, he believes a lot could still be done to make it seamless.
What to do differently as young entrepreneurs
Proferring solutions, the participants agreed that already, government had created a foundation of which young entrepreneurs should take advantage of. One such foundation was the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
They were of the view that young entrepreneurs should take advantage of the free trade area and push their products into foreign markets to increase their profit margins.
One area the participants also suggested would improve young businesses a great deal, was investments in Research and Development (R and D). This, they said, would enable young entrepreneurs to innovate and introduce new products and services on to the market in order to rake in more revenue.