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Business News of Sunday, 18 October 2015

Source: GNA

Young entrepreneurs get UK backing to accelerate growth

File photo: Participants at a TechnoServe event File photo: Participants at a TechnoServe event

TechnoServe's maiden Enhancing Development of Ghanaian Entrepreneurs stakeholder conference that predominantly featured indigenous young entrepreneurs has ended with the moguls committing to build robust partnerships to elicit support towards enhanced business expansion and growth.

"The event ended with a networking session to allow entrepreneurs to establish connections with supporting organisations, industry experts, successful entrepreneurs, business development service providers and seasoned experts," Mr Samuel Baba Alogo, ENGINE [(Enhancing Growth In New Enterprises] Programme Director told journalists.

Mr Alogo also said the young industrialists developed a roadmap designed to boost local entrepreneurship and affirmed their commitment to form real partnerships and alliances that would allow intermediaries to support entrepreneurs more cohesively and to strengthen existing networks of businesspersons.

Entrepreneurs and ecosystem players gathered at a two-day stakeholder conference, dubbed: "Enhancing Development of Ghanaian Entrepreneurs Stakeholder Conference (EDGE Con)," to ponder over solutions to problems confronting growth of micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in the country.

The panel discussed opportunities for scaling up businesses, including vital role of networks for expanding businesses, access to finance, developing entrepreneurial skills, using data to guide investment decisions and improving regulatory environment for doing business.

The Conference created the platform for stakeholders in entrepreneurship ecosystem to mull ways of harmonising their efforts in creating sustainable and comprehensive solutions to barriers faced by micro and small enterprises.

EDGE Con is a new initiative of the ENGINE programme, a multiyear entrepreneurship development agenda implemented by TechnoServe, with funding from UK's Department for International Development.

ENGINE is a four and half year project implemented by TechnoServe with funding from the UK government seeking to equip MSEs with the necessary skills and resources to improve their business plans and internal operations.

Mr Alogo said the ENGINE project provides funding support of GH¢18,000 to GH¢50,000 to local entrepreneurs while creating a thriving community for their operations through increased access to business development services.

The project also seeks to provide mentoring, networking and other business development services to 500 young entrepreneurs and over the life of the project, ENGINE expects to increase revenue growth of more than 500 MSEs by an average of 400 percent to create over 1,770 new jobs, project officials said.

About 300 start-ups would also gain access to finance through links to investors or financial institutions with at least a third – 25 percent of programme participants - of those successful in securing financial investment.