Executive Chairman of the McDan Group Dr. Daniel McKorley says private sector business leaders, opinion leaders and other influential persons in society have to contribute to efforts of the government in building a robust entrepreneurial space that offers huge opportunities for jobs and wealth creation for the Ghanaian youth.
“Though successive governments have made some giant strides in tackling youth unemployment with the creation of several opportunities and flagship innovations, government cannot do it all and we will need corporate Ghana to support,” he said at the launch of Season 2 of the McDan Entrepreneurship Challenge (MEC) in Accra.
According to the serial entrepreneur, the age-long problem of youth unemployment would intensify if job opportunities remained limited—hence the need for both public and private players to strive to make an impact through the provision of sustainable opportunities for the youth.
“Already, the government and the private sector have made some investments in this regard, but more needs to be done and that is why MEC is very important for this country,” he added.
The MEC is an entrepreneurial competition that nurtures, grooms and guides innovative and workable ideas of aspiring entrepreneurs into sustainable and viable businesses to help reduce unemployment among the Ghanaian youth.
It is also a strategic platform for empowering the youth to overcome the obstacles of funding and mentorship in their quest to create jobs and expand the economy for wealth creation.
The maiden edition trained several hundreds of young entrepreneurs in both business and skills development, with Alhassan Hamza Akoligoh’s AlkoShea picking the ultimate price of US$100,000.
Season 2 will house 80 young entrepreneurs with business ideas across several sectors of the economy, including health, finance, technology and agribusiness.
Dr. McKorley said to the contestants: “The secret of this challenge is not the money but the person behind the money. Money doesn’t make business but people make business, and you must always have that at the back of your mind whilst you remain in this competition.”
Director of Business Planning at the Ministry of Business Development, Dr. Gideon Tetteh, commended McDan Foundation for their immense contribution to the nation’s entrepreneurial space over the years and asked other corporates to support the business creation agenda.
“Every year, there are about 250,000 graduates each year and government provides 2 percent of jobs. We are of the view that if a lot of people in his position try to follow suit, we would solve the unemployment problem that is facing the nation,” he said.
British High Commissioner to Ghana Ian Walker, in brief remarks, described the MEC as a fantastic initiative and pledged his support to the nation’s entrepreneurial cause.
“It’s so clear that the future of Ghana is going to come not just from young people but also through entrepreneurship—which is about unleashing the capabilities of Ghanaians.”