The University of Professional Studies-Accra [UPSA] has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U) with National Service Secretariat [NSS] and Innohub Limited to allow students to create their own businesses during their service to the nation.
The MoU will see graduates start their own businesses while on national service as an end gap to the rate of unemployment in the country. The project is also expected to equip students with the right skills and tools as well as encourage and strengthen youth entrepreneurs in the country.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of UPSA, Professor Charles Banor stressed that the aim of the partnership is to find lasting solutions to the unemployment issues in the country. He also hailed the NSS and Inoohub for their partnership
“I would like to applaud the National Service Secretariat for supporting this initiative by posting National Service Personnel to the UPSA Enterprise and Innovation Center to enable them to use their service period to develop and grow their businesses. Let me also applaud all partners, Ghartey and Ghartey, Realteck and particularly, Innohub for providing support to this initiative in the necessary training and coaching to our Service Personnel,” the Pro Vice-Chancellor stated.
He added, “We begin this partnership with heigh we explore issues relating to the optimism and excitement. As Motherland, entrepreneurship in the unemployment rate of our issues, I implore all of us to the action of this opportunity.
“By signing this MoU today, the Management of UPSA hopes to deepen its ties with the NSS to support more UPSA graduates with enterprise and innovative ideas through this platform and to help groom them as successful entrepreneurs for the nation and the world at large.
“The management of the University is very optimistic that the opportunity offered by this laudable initiative, by undoubtedly, the fastest-growing public university in Ghana; the University of Professional Studies, Accra will go a long way to engineer an entrepreneurial nation,” Professor Charles Banor said.
The advisory board member of Innohub, Mr. Nelson Amo noted that they assist in offering advice to the personnel to ensure their ideas becomes a reality. He also professed that one of their core mandates is to introduce the students to potential investors and partners who are ready to support their growth.
He explained that “at Innohub what we have done is to support the growth of startups at various sectors and also move them from one stage to the other. We also invest in some of these businesses.
“We thought that for those who are very much passionate about their ideas, we will help and support them to launch their idea through the National Service project, he added.
Mr. Nelson Amo continued that, “Within a year with the advisory board, we will access the success stories and go back to NSS and UPSA and say that in the first pilot, we’ve been able to do this in the success stories and based on that ask for more support. Most importantly we want to bring in the external community, bring potential corporate partners, potential investors to these National Service personnel to lay their ideas.”
The Executive Director of the National Service Secretariate, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi stated that “even though the NSS have a lot of partnership we know this one is going to be extraordinary.”
He recalled that upon his appointment to the NSS he urged his members to come up with a strategy to solve the rate of unemployment in the country and his solution was to collaborate with institutions.
According to him, in one of the MoU’s they recently signed with the institute, students are currently undergoing training in agribusiness which will see their products being exported to other countries.
Mr Osei Assibey Antwi also expressed his delight that he is confident that by the end of the year a lot of businesses would have been established to contribute to Ghana’s economic growth.
Present during the signing were Prof. Charles Barnor pro vice chancellor, Dr. Fidels Quansah, Mr. Richard Osei-Owusu of Realteck, Mr. Gerald Nyannyofio, Dr. Kate Quartey Papafio, Rev. Theophilus Tetteh, Dr. Ernest Abrham, Mr. Obed Twum, Mr. Kweku Ohene-Gyan among others.
One hundred students have been enrolled to the first pilot of the project which already commenced.