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WESTERN NORTH REGIONAL BIZBOX PROJECT LAUNCHED

The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) and the MasterCard Foundation together began the Western North Regional Sensitization Drive on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, to introduce their new business model, known as the Business in a Box (Bizbox) project. Under the subject “empowering the youth for a better and brighter future,” the project is aimed to enable young entrepreneurs to succeed. Several prominent personalities were present at the Pastoral and Formation Center, Sefwi Wiawso, where the ceremony was hosted.

In the stead of Mrs. Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Enterprises Agency, Mrs. Phelomena Norman gave the welcome speech. She mentioned in her speech that, the Bizbox Projects expands on the achievements of the Young Africa Works, an initiative that ran from 2020 to 2022 and gave almost 94,000 young people across the country jobs. She added that, the new business model aims to accomplish even more by giving access to markets, regulatory support, skill development, and mentoring and coaching to about 250,000 young women and People with Disabilities (PWDs). Of these, 125,000 will receive start-up kits to help launch new companies, create jobs and ultimately, improve the lives of young people.

Furthermore, the program, according to her, is in line with the Government of Ghana’s mission to promote equality and prosperity for youth-led businesses, people with disabilities (PWDs), and young people between the ages of 15 and 35.

Additionally, she stated that, the project’s five main pillars which includes youth skills development, market access, start-up kits, youth social networks, institutional strengthening, policy and regulatory support—will play a significant role in addressing some of the major issues facing the youth, such as the lack of entrepreneurship education, restricted access to markets, and job-relevant skills and tools.

Mrs. Norman concluded by reminding the wonderful people of Western North of their unwavering support and collaboration, and she asked the youth to remain dedicated to the initiative.

Mr. Louis Agyapong, the Municipal Chief Executive of Sefwi Wiawso Municipal District Assembly commended the Government of Ghana, led by His Excellency, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, for acknowledging the critical role that youth play in the country’s development. He continued by saying that, programs like GEA’s Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment Program (YEEP) and the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme show a commitment to fostering the entrepreneurship ecosystem by offering comprehensive support for fledgling businesses to expand and be successful.

He expressed gratitude for the combined impact of the GEA and MasterCard Foundation program, which is aims to uncover the entrepreneurial potential of the youth for sustainable growth, and expressed excitement at the employment opportunities that he saw for women and youth in Ghana.

In addition, he stated that the BizBox Project is expected to have a major influence on 250,000 young Ghanaians, with a particular emphasis on young women and people with disabilities. He also mentioned that 10% of participants will be PWDs and 70% of participants will be women.

Mr. Agyapong concluded by thanking the President and the Vice President for fostering environments that allow businesses, particularly those owned by women, PWDs, and the youth, to flourish. He also urged community, religious, and traditional leaders to support this commendable initiative and to encourage the youth to fully participate.

In a succinct speech, Ghana Enterprises Agency’s Regional Director, Madam Habiba Sumani, said that the agency’s and the MasterCard Foundation project’s joint efforts will ensure the sustainability and longevity of youth-led businesses in the area.

Beneficiary Comment

Bibiani recipient Ms. Gloria
Mensah applauded the project’s implementers and exhorted her fellow young
people to properly register in order to receive assistance for their
enterprises