The National Service Secretariat (NSS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U) with the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) and Innohub Limited to assist fresh graduates to establish their own businesses during their mandatory one-year service to the nation.
The agreement, to be executed under the UPSA Venture Lab initiative, will see graduates of the University being groomed by top business moguls while receiving technical and financial support to start their own businesses during their national service.
The initiative is also expected to equip student entrepreneurs with essential business skills and tools as well as encourage and strengthen youth entrepreneurship in the country.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of UPSA, Professor Charles Barnor noted that the UPSA has over the years strategically positioned herself as a centre of excellence, blending scholarship with professionalism with the primary aim of training entrepreneurial graduates.
He disclosed that the partnership with NSS and Innohub was the University’s response to the growing graduate unemployment problem in the country while providing business coaching and value addition to the students.
He therefore commended the management of NSS and Innohub for their commitment to the project.
“I would like to applaud the National Service Secretariat for supporting this initiative by posting National Service Personnel to the UPSA Enterprise and Innovation Center to enable them to use their service period to develop and grow their businesses,” the Pro Vice-Chancellor said.
“Let me also applaud all partners, Ghartey and Ghartey, Realteck and particularly, Innohub for providing support to this initiative in the necessary training and coaching to our Service Personnel.”
Prof. Barnor added: “We begin this partnership with heightened optimism and excitement. As we explore issues relating to the growing unemployment rate of our Motherland, entrepreneurship in an uncertain era, amongst many other issues, I implore all of us to actively get involved and make the best out of this opportunity.”
On his part, the Executive Director of the National Service Secretariat, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi stated that his organisation was committed to collaborating with key public and private agencies to provide employment opportunities for NSS personnel after their service period.
He recalled that upon his appointment to the NSS, he pledged to use innovative ways to tackle youth unemployment in the country and one of the ways was to collaborate with institutions.
“In Ghana, we can only solve the problem [of unemployment] when we equip the youth to go into entrepreneurship,” Mr Assibey Antwi said. “So we are excited to be part of this great and historic initiative.”
Mr Osei Assibey Antwi said that he is confident that by the end of the year a lot of businesses would have been established to contribute to Ghana’s economic growth.
A member of the Advisory Board of UPSA Enterprise and Innovation Centre and CEO of Innohub, Mr. Nelson Amo noted that the UPSA Venture Lab will assist in offering advice to the service personnel to ensure their ideas become a reality.
Present at the signing ceremony were Dr. Fidels Quansah, Professor Raymond Dziwornu, Dr Michael Agbemabiese, Mr. Richard Osei-Owusu of Realteck, Mr. Gerald Nyannyofio, Dr. Kate Quartey Papafio, Rev. Theophilus Tetteh, Dr. Ernest Abrham, Mr. Obed Twum and Mr. Kweku Ohene-Gyan among others.