The University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) has launched its entrepreneurship programme christened “UPSA Enterprise and Innovation Centre” (UEIC) in Accra.
The Centre, under the Faculty of Management Studies, will serve as a platform to promote youth entrepreneurship and innovation in the country.
The Centre will harness young entrepreneurs with vital practical experience by setting-up and scaling-up students’ businesses while working on real life business ideas to groom, equip and provide technical support from experienced industry partners.
Mr Joe Ghartey, former Minister of Railways and Development, commended the University for the great initiative to create opportunity for the students’ youth through enterprise and innovation.
He said the recent figures from the country’s 2021 Population and Housing Census pegged the population at over 30 million, of which the majority of the figures were the youth which created an opportunity for economic explosion.
Mr Ghartey said even though the 1992 constitution sought to guarantee freedom of the press, it took some time for the press to become truly free because the government created the legal environment which enabled the private sector to operate.
He said a retooling of a particular sector’s legal regime to enable deeper private sector participation, would open up the frontiers of the sectors to create more opportunities for all the citizenry.
Mr Ghartey, who is also the Member of Parliament for Essikado-Ketan, said the government could provide incentives to the private sector in order to lead investment to a particular sector by using taxation and tariff reliefs as a tool for economic development.
He advised the students to be focused and pursue their future entrepreneurial ambitions for a brighter career.
“You need to free your mind and move from a mentality of appointment to a mentality of creation. Do not look for a job , but create a job because some of the richest people in the world today dreamt when they were your age and today have impacted the whole world,” he advised.
A speech read on behalf of Professor Abednego F.O. Amartey, the Vice Chancellor, UPSA, said the University was passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation because it held the key to job creation.
Our goal, Professor Amartey said, was to build successful and impactful businesses and stressed that for close to 60 years, UPSA had evolved into the fastest and growing University in offering programmes that responded to the current needs of the country.
“In the last five years, the University has introduced innovative and market-driven programmes that were beneficial for the growth of the country, with about 30 new programmes that respond to the urgent national needs including leadership and organisational development”, he said.
The new World Bank report on “Youth Employment Programmes in Ghana: Options for Effective Policy Making and Implementation,” identified Agribusiness, Entrepreneurship, apprenticeship, construction, tourism and sports as key sectors that will help students to navigate the uncertain world which was ravaged by COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Nelson Amo, the Executive Director, Ghana Tech Lab, said the Centre was a response to the unemployment challenges among the graduates and stressed that the key pillars underpinned by the Centre are ideation lab, business bootcamp, venture lab, capital matching platform and enterprise partners.
The Registrar of UPSA inducted an eight newly-constituted Advisory Board for the Centre Chaired by Mr Ghartey to provide strategic policy directions and champion the successful implementation of its mandate.
Other members of the Advisory Board include Dr Fidelis Quansah, Senior Lecturer and Dean of Faculty of Management Studies, UPSA; Dr Joseph Gerald Nii Tetteh Nyanyofio, Lecturer, Department of Business Administration, UPSA ; Associate Professor Raymond K.Dziwornu, Dean of Faculty of Accounting and Finance, UPSA; and Mr Richard Osei Owusu, Director of Finance, Interglobal Partners Limited.
The rest are Mrs Kate Quartey-Papafio, Chairperson of Reroy Cables limited, Mr Nelson Amo, Executive Director of Ghana Technology Lab; and Ms Leticia Browne, a Business Development and Management Consultant.