The Director for the National Entrepreneurs Innovation Plan (NEIP), Frankline Owusu-Karikari, on Monday said government has taken regulatory, financial and institutional steps to ensure the growth of the entrepreneur’s ecosystem to contribute to job creation.
He said already, the state had enacted and was implementing the Entrepreneurship policy and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Policy together with other stakeholders including National Board for Small Scale Industry (NBSSI) to streamline the entrepreneurs’ ecosystem space and give it the needed support to thrive.
Mr. Owusu-Karikari, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview at the annual leadership programme Incubating, Innovation 2020, organised by the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC) in Accra.
The event brought together actors in the green entrepreneur ecosystem to brainstorm on solutions that would enable the sector play its role effectively to address social challenges and improve livelihoods.
He said over the years the NEIP had been giving small grants to startups and that through a new World Bank support, entrepreneurs could access a minimum of $20,000.00 to scale-up their innovation and create more jobs.
The NEIP Director stated that the government was working with the Ghana Revenue Authority, and had started a three to five years tax break to startup with unique innovations from the ages of 18 to 35.
Mr. Owusu-Karikari explained that the sectors of support included; Manufacturing, Information Communication Technology, agro-processing, Medicinal plant, horticulture, Tourism and Arts.
While acknowledging that there were still other challenges, he said gradually, the government has undertaken reforms to reduce the bureaucracies including company registration, which used to be 81 days could now be done in a week or less.
“An ecosystem works in an interlocking manner to ensure smooth run however things were not running like that, which resulted in the challenges.
“Gradually one can see some improvement in the key agencies are working together and are seeing themselves as collaborators not competitors,” he said.
Madam Ruka Sanusi, Executive Director of GCIC, said the country’s entrepreneur ecosystem had so much innovation that needed to be supported to accelerate and commercialise to ensure soci-economic growth.
She said, “I see an ecosystem in Ghana which is yet to truly rise up to the calling of making make the private sector the engine of growth. This is because they are the innovators who designed for instance the traffic light that direct humans and therefore need to be supported to continue to innovate”.
Mr. Nelson Amo, the Chief Executive Officer of Innohub said, some of the challenges MSME face include the failure to secure government contracts due to the procurement process, zero tolerance for risk and failure, and inability to recruit highly qualified staff.