The University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) has opened an Enterprise and Innovation Centre aimed at fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship by unearthing, grooming and supporting students with compelling business ideas into viable businesses.
The newly-launched UPSA Enterprise and Innovation Centre (UEIC) is targeting young entrepreneurs with vital practical experience to set them up to run their own student businesses. While working on real-life business with their own business ideas, they will be equipped with the needed technical support from experienced industry players.
The Dean of Faculty of Management Studies, Dr Fidelis Quansah says most forward-looking universities across the globe are becoming business hubs and incubators, and the fulcrum around which high growth businesses are built.
She said it was against this backdrop that the faculty of Management Studies with support from the entire University community was championing this initiative.
“I am excited that our students who decide to climb the good tree of entrepreneurship from now on will be given the needed push from the UPSA Enterprise and Innovation Centre,” Dr Mrs Quansah said at the official launch of the Centre on Tuesday, September 28.
The Vice-Chancellor of UPSA, Prof Abednego F. O. Amartey, in a speech read on his behalf by Dr Koryoe Anim-Wright, Registrar of UPSA, observed that global economy is rapidly changing with the advent of technology.
These economic dynamics, he said, have been compounded by youth unemployment, calling for graduates that are equipped with the requisite skills, capabilities, attributes and mentoring not only to be entrepreneurial but also accorded the necessary financial and technical support to enable them succeed.
“This is what the UPSA Enterprise and Innovation Centre seeks to offer,” the Vice-Chancellor said.
He added that the Centre will support students to fine-tune their business ideas – from start-up to scale up – by giving them the support they need to thrive. It will also offer budding student entrepreneurs the platform to bring their ideas to life while connecting them to experts, support network, mentoring, facilities and funding to grow their businesses.
“We applaud the partners who have walked the talk, by partnering UPSA to create this Enterprise and Innovation Centre where many more Ghanaian entrepreneurs like themselves will be discovered, supported and encouraged to thrive and have sustainable businesses that will outlive them.”
Prof Amartey said as someone who is passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation, he believes, the two hold the key to job creation.
He therefore urged the students to avail themselves of the opportunities and support that the Enterprise and Innovation Centre provides in order to ensure that their business ideas thrive and become sustainable.
“I believe it is through entrepreneurship and innovative programmes that students become prepared to create their own futures,” he said.
On his part, the Guest of Honour and Board Chair of the UEIC Advisory Board, Hon. Joe Ghartey observed that even though building a diversified and stable economy is key to Ghana’s plans for economic independence, the private sector was central to this agenda as it serves as the vehicle for economic growth and job creation.
“The future of Ghana is the private sector and it is the private sector that will create jobs for the country,” the Member of Parliament for Essikado-Ketan said.
“The duty of government is to create an enabling environment which will afford everyone the opportunity to be able to afford at the very least the minimum necessities of life.
“To the students who are participating in this Initiative and to the youth at large, I say free your mind. Move from the mentality of appointment to a mentality of creation. Don’t look for a job, create a job.”
CEO of Innohub and Member of the UEIC Advisory Board, Mr Nelson Amo revealed that the UEIC will be hinged on five strategic pillars namely, the Ideation Lab for testing and validating business ideas; the Business Bootcamp for treating, networking and provision of seed funding; Venture Lab; Capital Matching Platform and Enterprise Partners.