A Center for Entrepreneurship, Philanthropy and Ethics (CEPE) has been established by Heritage Christian College (HCC), a KNUST-affiliated university in Amasaman-Accra, as a step to reduce the spate of unemployment in Ghana.
According to the World Bank 2016 report on jobs in Ghana, about 48 percent of the youth in the country, who are between 15-24 years do not have jobs.
The Ghana Living Standards Survey estimates that 250,000 young men and women enter the Ghanaian labour market every year with only 2% absorbed in the formal sector whilst the 98% seek employment in the informal sector or remain unemployed.
Experts say the country needs to create 300,000 jobs every year deal with unemployment in the country. Research shows that much of the education in Ghana prepares students to be job seekers instead of job creators.
As a step to check this trend, Heritage Christian College set up the Center for Entrepreneurship, Philanthropy and Ethics as a “business-incubator” system to equip its students with entrepreneurial skills and mentoring before they graduate.
The Center provides the following services to the HCC Community: Business Advisory and Nurturing, Start-up Challenge, Business and Ethics Training, Venture Capital, Research into business trends, Day of Philanthropy, Talent Hunt and Business Boot-camps.
The HCC Start-up Challenge, for instance, has prizes ranging from GH¢5,000 to GH¢25,000 for the best business plans by HCC students and faculty.
The Minister for Business Development, Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, in a speech read on his behalf, commended HCC for the innovative project and pledged government’s support to help the Center achieve its objective.
The immediate past President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), James Asare-Adjei, who is the Chancellor of Heritage Christian College, speaking on the theme, “Developing Ethical Entrepreneurs for the Next Generation,” spoke stressed the importance of skills-based training and practical approaches to training.
“We must refocus the way we train the next generation of Ghanaians with the aim of creating practical entrepreneurs who will conduct business transactions in an ethical manner.”
The Board Chairman of the Center for Entrepreneurship, Philanthropy and Ethics, Samuel K. Ayim noted “if we can achieve the timely call of the President of the Republic for a ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ in our time, there is the need for a fundamental shift.
The former General Counsel of Ecobank Transnational added, “indeed a revolution, in the way our children are educated and socialized. We need not only a new mindset; we also need a new heart-set.”
The President of HCC, Dr Samuel Twumasi-Ankrah, stated that “the CEPE project is an ambitious one that is set to make HCC students stand tall among their counterparts in Ghana and Africa.
“We are taking real and concrete steps to train ethical entrepreneurs who will create jobs to stem the tide of graduate unemployment in our dear continent of Africa.”
The Executive Director of the Center is Dr Williams A. Atuilik, a Chartered Accountant, lawyer and entrepreneur, who is also the Provost of HCC.