Some 600 applicants have been shortlisted countrywide for the semi-finals of the maiden edition of the McDan 2018 Entrepreneurship challenge.
The successful applicants were screened from the total of 5,556 who initially applied.
The 13 week TV reality show will offer participants the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a four-member jury throughout the period. The competition will also afford the contestants the chance to benefit from a mentoring and a coaching program under the auspices of the McDan Group of Companies.
At the end of the McDan Challenge competition, one of the participants will walk away with 100,000 dollars to start or hold up his or her dream business plus a fully paid trip to the United States. Both the first and second runner-ups will also win 4,000 dollars each to invest it into their businesses.
"Ghana's youth employment rate stands at 48% according to the world bank. This a problem that requires both the private and public sector involvement to address it. The launch of this challenge, therefore, presents us at the McDan Group of Companies to nurture the next generation of Ghana's entrepreneurs and give hope to the many unemployed youth out there," said Roberta Mckorley, wife of the chairman of the McDan Group of Companies.
On the part of the Chief Executive Officer of the National Youth Authority, Emmanuel S. Asigri, the idea that white collar jobs reside with the public sector predates Ghana's independence - a perception he said continues propel massive unemployment.
According to him, goverment's drive to get more youth to venture into entrepreneurship appears to be yielding positive results as his outfit has received some 6,000 applications from business start-ups for financial assistance just a month after the project was launched.
Mr. Assigri believes that the McDan challenge and the aforementioned initiative by the government is the right way to limit the tide of massive youth employment in the country.
Emmanuel S. Asigri
His views were corroborated by his counterpart from the Youth Enterprise Support, John Kumah, who indicated that his outfit which was set up with a 10million dollars to support business startups now has the duty to raise an additional 100 million dollars to sustain the project.
"Very soon, we're going to give individuals the opportunity to identify a problem in their communities and present a creative and innovative plan to resolve those challenges. The strategy to resolving the problem will be examined and a befitting package will be given to such individuals to pioneer the change they want to see in their society," John Kumah added.
A representative from the Ministry of Business Development, Efua Asabeah Asare, also urged the private sector to emulate the McDan example to support youth to venture into entrepreneurship as it will create ripple business opportunities for others who are unemployed.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Today's Entrepreneurs Network, Kelvin Atuguba lauded the Group Chairman of the McDan Group of Companies for championing the project and also considering them as worthy partners to achieve the overall objective of the Entrepreneurship challenge.