Business News of Friday, 2 December 2011

Source: The Catalyst Newspaper

GEBSS Opens Big Opportunity TO Unemployed Graduates

• To Raise 100 Business Moguls Out Of 10,000 Beneficiaries Every Year

A new innovation, Graduate Business Support Scheme (GEBSS), designed to tackle the hydra-headed problem of graduate unemployment in the country, has been launched in Accra.

With the prospect of becoming the most effective scheme for combating graduate unemployment in Ghana, GEBSS which is targeting 10,000 unemployed graduates per year to benefit from a four tier exposure, experiences and practical skills programme to guide and support them into business setups, will build a generation of graduate business owners in Ghana who can see and seize opportunities to create wealth and prosperity for themselves and the country.
GEBSS, a private-public sector partnership, will focus ultimately on raising 100 business moguls nationwide annually through sponsorship including, overseas exposure to acquire international best practices to set up 100 trans-generational Businesses in Ghana who will in-turn become big employers in the formalised private sector.
Visioned on self-owned businesses, GEBSS which is carefully crafted to partner government to resolve the critical issue of graduate unemployment in the country aims at providing innovative schemes to promote capacities of unemployed Graduates with business-focused skills, experiences and exposures to enhance their chances to employability.
The scheme is intended to provide opportunities for self-confidence building, business incubation, business executive coaching, industry attachment, business set-up support as well as local and international exposures. In achieving this objective, GEBSS will provide business start-up support to at least 10,000 Ghanaian unemployed graduates. It will offer practical training, exposure and mentoring programmes for unemployed graduates annually through 4 levels of customized practical instruction and incubation activities with duration of 12 months.
The first part, of 10 days, will involve a comprehensive session preparing 10,000 unemployed Graduates nationwide with requisite competencies in the areas of attitudes, skills and knowledge to identify opportunities to setup their own businesses.
The second level targets 2,000 participants for one week hand holding session, culminating in ability to produce viable business plans that can attract investment funding from targeted sources.
At the third level, 500 participants are professionally guided and attached to local industries for relative experience for a period. This will be followed by an incubation support leading to the establishment of their own businesses.
The ultimate, level four, will support at least 100 selected participants at executive-level mentoring and overseas exposure to acquire international best practices to setup 100 businesses in Ghana capable of employing a huge chunk of graduates from the tertiary institutions.
In Ghana, about 250,000 youth join the labour force annually. 70,000 graduates constituting over 30% of this population join the labour force on a yearly basis. Out of this figure, only about 5,000 are employed by the formal sector, whilst the rest survive in the informal sector or remain unemployed. Attempts to promote the growth of SME’s to absorb labour have not yielded the desired result due to several factors including high interest rates, weak and unreliable infrastructure, capacity of the Ghanaian economy to create sustainable jobs among others.
GEBSS will provide industry with graduates with enhanced skills for easy entry, enable participating companies the opportunity to mentor new entrants into the industrial market place and create database of ready to be employed graduates in Ghana.
GEBSS will thus provide opportunity for the government in resolving the nagging issue of graduate unemployment affecting socio-economic development, reaching a very distressed segment of the country’s economic active population for assistance and provide opportunities for sustainable job creation.
It is the hope of the facilitators of the Scheme that at the end of the day, GEBSS will challenge participants to realize opportunities for self-owned jobs and placements, develop the entrepreneurial and management capacities of participants and provide them with opportunity for international business exposure.