The University of Professional Studies (UPSA) is to start a Venture Lab Entrepreneurial Programme to support graduate entrepreneurs to incubate their business ideas into sustainable startups for 12 months during their National Service.
This follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) jointly signed by the University, the National Service Secretariat (NSS) and Innohub, a Business Accelerator that supports small and growing businesses.
As part of the programme there would be training of young entrepreneurs using the framework and the University’s curriculum, provision of business development services, and investor-matching support for the investor ready ventures, an official statement issued to the Ghana News Agency, in Accra, on Monday said.
The Agreement forms part of the UPSA Enterprise and Innovation Centre, aimed at working with various faculties and external stakeholders to drive a culture of entrepreneurship within the University’s student body.
This was intended at empower them to provide long-term solution to the growing graduate unemployment challenge in the country through entrepreneurship.
Speaking at the signing of the MoU, Professor Charles Barnor, Pro Vice-Chancellor of UPSA, said the programme would serve as a catalyst in finding lasting solutions to the unemployment challenge in the country, especially the youth who would graduate from the University.
He said: “We begin this partnership with heightened optimism and excitement. As we explore issues relating to the growing unemployment rate of our motherland, entrepreneurship in the uncertain era, amongst many other issues, I implore all of us to actively get involved and make the best out of this opportunity.”
He expressed appreciation to the NSS, and all their partners, including Ghartey and Ghartey, Realtek and Innohub for the initiative that would provide the needed training and coaching to the service personnel.
Mr Nelson Madiba Amo, Chief Executive Officer of Innohub and a member of the Advisory Board Member of the UPSA Enterprise and Innovation Centre, expressed concern about the lack of support systems for entrepreneurial ideas of students.
This, he said, motivated the Centre to support “those who are very much passionate about their ideas” to launch their idea through the National Service engagement.
For his part, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi, Executive Director of the National Service Secretariat, noted that the programme would be an avenue that could support the entrepreneurs export their products to other countries.
He expressed his delight and confidence that by the end of the programme, a lot of businesses would have been established to contribute to Ghana’s economic growth.