The Managing Director of Zoomlion Ghana Limited Mrs. Florence Larbi has said, addressing the issue of youth entrepreneurship should be the priority of Government, educational institutions and the nation’s development partners.
She said, this is the only way to provide employment opportunities to the teeming youth graduating from the universities and various tertiary institutions.
Speaking on theme, “Prospects and Challenges of Entrepreneurship in Ghana” at the second Entrepreneurship Clinic at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi recetly, Mrs. Larbi said the slow rate of building small and medium scale enterprises (SME’s) has affected youth entrepreneurship in Ghana since most youth tend to lose interest in setting up business on their own.
The second Entrepreneurship Clinic was a week –long activity organized by the College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the Centre for Business Development for all final year students to educate the students with general knowledge in all aspects of entrepreneurship and small scale business management.
It was also to help them discover and utilize their potential in life and understand the business financing systems of Ghana.
Mrs. Larbi said lack of policy and adequate backing for private sector businesses by government and bureaucratic bottlenecks involved in business set ups has affected entrepreneurship in Ghana and thus called for more support and collaboration by the government with the private sector to ensure the creation of Ghanaian owned businesses such as the UT Bank, Zoomlion and Tobinco Pharmaceuticals among others.
Mrs. Larbi also urged the academic institutions not to focus on courses that only equip students with knowledge suitable for white collar jobs but also introduce courses that will enable them to start their own businesses as well.
“I believe students should not focus solely on theoretical aspects of the academic work but also transfer academic knowledge into practical knowledge for employment creation and wealth generation,” she said.
She said the state should not be seen as the ultimate employer and as such all graduates should see themselves as capable of setting up their businesses and promoting wealth creation in the country.
“In Ghana and other African countries, the educational systems train graduates for white collar jobs and not to set up their own businesses. Today in Ghana, most young graduates expect the government or other companies to employ them,” She said adding, “In the absence of government employment, they cannot do anything for themselves.”
She added that, no matter the challenges, nothing is unachievable with determination and hard work and implored the students to learn positive attitudes to bring their dreams into reality.