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19-year-old wins ‘presidential pitch for startups’ picks GHS75,000

The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has launched a business ideas competition, dubbed the “Presidential Pitch”, aimed at realizing Government’s ambition of helping to unleash an entrepreneurial revolution in the country.

According to President Akufo-Addo, the country has not done so well incubating business ideas and developing them into global giants, even though there are lots of enterprising, creative and innovative youth, seeking opportunity.

His Government, as a result, the President said, is determined to buck the trend, adding that “a journey of five thousand miles, they say, begins with the first step. We are taking the first steps.”

The business ideas being presented at the Presidential Pitch, he stressed, must exhibit four characteristics, i.e. they must be feasible, innovative, scalable and impactful.

With some 2,000 applications received, 20 proposals were selected at the end of the process, with the 20 successful applicants given mentors and attached to various businesses, and with the others stationed at the Ministry of Business Development’s incubator hubs.

“At the end of the competition, the top ten winners will receive support from Government, to the tune of GH₵ 50,000 each. It is my expectation that the 10 beneficiary companies should help create jobs, and, at least, employ three people each,” the President said.

He continued, “Through periodic updates from the Ministry’s monitoring and evaluation systems, I am going to take personal interest in the way the beneficiary companies are run, as the Ministry helps nurture them into prominence.”

President Akufo-Addo was speaking at the launch of the “Presidential Pitch”, on Monday, 25th June, 2018, at the Movenpick Hotel.

President Akufo-Addo noted that, in addition to the “Presidential Pitch”, government launched a National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Plan (NEIP), with an initial start-up capital of $10 million, to support young entrepreneurs start-up their businesses. We are now outdooring,

“Again, through the NEIP, five hundred (500) young men and women across the country will receive funding to help expand their businesses. This will be the first time, in recent times, that a deliberate, systematic, integrated national policy has been instituted to support early stage start-ups and small businesses,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo reiterated the commitment of his Government to create in Ghana the most business friendly environment in Africa, where businesses flourish, and create jobs.

“That is why Government has put in place measures intended to reduce the cost of doing business and improve the business environment. Our actions have resulted in the growing stability of the macro-economy, reduction in inflation, reduction in utility tariffs, and an abolition of nuisance taxes whose aim is to shift the focus of the economy from taxation to production,” he added.

All these measures, he added, are being undertaken to stimulate enterprise activity and growth in the country.

The President stated  that, “in you, the contestants I have met today, the future of the Ghanaian private sector is extremely promising”, and applauded each of the contestants warmly on their products and presentations.

“I hope the other contestants will excuse me if I single-out the youngest amongst you, the 19 year old young lady from Gwollu in the West Sissala District, Vanessa Aisha Limann, for special attention, and a personal donation of GH₵25,000 from me, in addition to the GH₵50,000 the Ministry is to give her,” he added.

The President expressed his belief in Ghana’s manifest destiny, and in the capacity of Ghanaians to construct a new, prosperous Ghanaian civilisation that will reflect the progressive values and culture, which have defined the Ghanaian people through the ages.

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