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Opinions of Sunday, 18 November 2018

Columnist: John Kumah

John Kumah Writes: The goodies in the 2019 budget for entrepreneurs and businesses

Entrepreneurship is one of the pillars in the 2019 budget. It has been identified as one of the key vehicles that will drive the government’s quest to build a stronger economy for jobs and prosperity.

In the past 22 months that the Akufo-Addo Government has assumed office, a lot of hard work has gone into cleaning the mess the Mahama-led administration left behind. In 2019, Government will no longer be under IMF conditionalities and can administer its commitment to the people of Ghana to create jobs and improve their socio-economic conditions.

The 2019 budget is yet again another demonstration of the commitment of the Akufo-Addo led government to support entrepreneurs and to empower businesses in every way possible to ensure they are able to meet the demands of the local and international market.

Currently, young Ghanaian Entrepreneurs engaged in manufacturing, farming, ICT agro-processing, energy production, waste-processing, tourism and creative arts, horticulture, and medicinal plants are enjoying tax holidays base on the number of persons employed.

Again post the tax holidays, young entrepreneurs can also access a 20% income tax waiver for 5 years to enable them access credit facilities from financial institutions. The Ministry of Business Development through the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) is open to helping young entrepreneurs access these interventions.

It must be noted that in 2018, under the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Support Programme, 7,000 entrepreneurs were trained and 1,350 successful entrepreneurs who presented innovative and bankable business plans were provided with financial support. It is expected that each of these entrepreneurs will create a minimum of two jobs, totaling at least 2,700 direct jobs.

In 2019, we are mandated by the budget to train 10,000 more entrepreneurs across all 10 regions of the country and to offer financial support to about 2,000 beneficiaries. This will be a big boost to the young entrepreneur who needs funding, access to market and business advisory services to start his business.

The Akufo-Addo government is creating jobs and equally supporting the private sector to absorb more Ghanaians from the unemployment net. 2019 will be a good year for entrepreneurs and businesses and the Ministry of Business Development through the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan will roll-out several interventions and programmes to support and build a great entrepreneurship ecosystem.

By: Lawyer John Kumah, CEO of National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Plan (NEIP)