The technical working committee of the Ghana Startup Bill held a three-day Consultative retreat with key stakeholders to fine-tune the first draft of the most anticipated Ghana Startup Bill.

In October this year, the Ministry of Business Development, through its agency, National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Programme (NEIP), launched the formal consultation processes for the development of the Ghana Startup Act, which will among other things provide the legal backing for the introduction and promotion of Start­ups for jobs and wealth creation.

The process is championed by the NEIP, in collaboration with the Ghana Startup Network, Ghana Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs, Ghana Hubs Network, Private Enterprise Federation, Innovation for Policy (i4Policy), with support from GIZ.

The retreat held at Forest Hotel in Dodowa over the week was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Business Development, National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Program, National Youth Authority, Registrar General’s Department, Ghana Standard Authority, Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Investment and Promotion Centre, Venture Capital Trust Fund, Valley View University, representing the academia, among other organisations.

This three-day programme gave the participants the opportunity to critically access and make inputs into the first draft bill prepared by the committee after consulting numerous startups and experts across the country.

Issues dealt with included, the definition of a startup, startup certification and label selection processes.

It also discussed startup benefits and incentives, including Tax waivers and holidays, Business support and capacity building programs, Access to markets, Intellectual Property Rights, Research and Development support, Investor and Mentor support, among others.

Topics like models to finance the startup incentives and benefits of the startups to the state were also discussed.

Freda Yawson, Country Coordinator for i4policy and Lead Advisor to the Committee facilitated the exercise and ensured all inputs from stakeholders were adequately captured for further discussions in the committee’s next focus group meeting.

The Project Coordinator and CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs, Mr. Sherif Ghali indicated that the committee will intensify its consultative sessions with stakeholders to ensure total inclusivity and ownership of the act, by all who matters.

He also sign posted that the Committee is expected to conclude its work and produce the final draft bill by the end of this year, to be presented to the overseeing Ministry, the Ministry of Business Development for onward presentation to the Parliament of Ghana and the Cabinet, and to advocate for its passage as soon as possible.

Solomon Adjei, the communication officer for the Technical Working committee and Founder Ghana Startup Network, closed the curtains on the third day by thanking all the stakeholders who honored their invitation and prayed that they support the committee throughout the entire processes.