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Young people aren’t lazy, they haven’t been supported enough to start businesses – Dr. Adongo

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Development Economist, Dr. Michael Ayamga-Adongo is asking the public to eschew the thoughts that young people are lazy or unthinking, the reason many have failed to begin their own businesses. He said those thoughts are false and could not be the reality.

“We tend to make excuses thinking that youthful people do not want to work and do not want to venture into entrepreneurship but entrepreneurship is one of the most tricky, dangerous and highly volatile sectors to go into. Sometimes, you require a lot of experience and resilience to be able to start a business and see it grow.”

He said this when he spoke to A1 Radio’s Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith on the Day Break Upper East Show. His comments were in connection to the government’s promises to invest heavily in youth-led entrepreneurship. It would be recalled that ahead of the 2020 general election, the NPP promised a more deliberate strategy to boost entrepreneurship as part of the grand scheme to realize a Ghana Beyond Aid.

“Investing in Youth Development and Entrepreneurship: The Ghanaian youth is at the centre of the growth agenda of our Ghana Beyond Aid vision, particularly in the roles of entrepreneurship and digitisation in the growth of the economy. We have kept faith with the youth by creating over two million jobs in three and half years which mostly benefits the youth. We have invested in youth-focused entrepreneurial programmes and free secondary and technical-vocational too. Over the next four years, we plan to tackle the rental segment of the housing market providing the youth with low-interest loans to enable them pay rent advance. We will also implement programmes to reduce further the cost of data to support youth-focused businesses, and to be the drivers of our digital services. We will implement the US$200 million Job and Skills Project which will provide youth-owned small businesses with grants, training, apprenticeship, and entrepreneurial skills. Furthermore, we will designate the creative arts industry as a major growth pole and
establish a Creative Arts Fund to support artists,” portions of the manifesto read.

Dr. Ayamga-Adongo explained that if many young people have shied away from starting their own businesses, it is because of the many disincentives.

“You can imagine that if someone is coming out of school, haven’t got a place to stay, haven’t got enough to provide food for himself, are about to or have started families with a kid or two, that is where you go and give them money and you say that they should use that money to start businesses, they have two choices; survival and business sustainability.”

“It is always a far-fetched call to tell young people to start their businesses and that there are no jobs in the public sector.” Having said that, have young people started businesses elsewhere and they have succeeded? Yes. What has been done? They have been properly trained. The market opportunities have been properly explored. They have niches they explore and they give them massive capital.”

Dr. Ayamgo-Adongo called on the government to do more than promise and create an enabling environment for young people to succeed.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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