Scores of young Ghanaian entrepreneurs are to benefit from a number of initiatives to be introduced by the United States of America.
Under these initiatives grants will be offered to support start-ups and expansion of businesses and social ventures in six countries in 2015 including Ghana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
This initiative was announced by President Barack Obama when he met young African leaders under the YALI initiative in Washington.
Over the next two years Ghanian entrepreneurs will benefit from a host of initiatives that will see the US Government expanding support to them by connecting them to investors, advisors, and distribution networks in the US and across the world.
Over the next year, the US State Department will also lead three partnership opportunity delegations of entrepreneurs and investors to Ghana and two other African countries Tanzania and Ethiopia.
In addition, the State Department and the U.S. Africa Development Foundation (USADF) will support selected young African leadership initiative (YALI) entrepreneurs to attend and participate in the DEMO Africa 2014 conference, to be held in Lagos, Nigeria, on September 25 – 26.
DEMO Africa is a platform for top African companies to launch their products and announce to Africa and the world what they have developed.
Speaking to the YALI participants Prez Obama said the United States will continue to provide young Africans access to resources they can use to put their skills to work in service of their communities.
Meanwhile hundreds of new entrepreneurship grants will be dished out to African entrepreneurs.
The USADF will partner with the US State Department to offer $2.5 million in seed funding to members of the YALI Network over the next three years in the form of 250 small entrepreneurship grants.
These grants will support start-ups and expansion of businesses and social ventures in six countries in 2015 including Ghana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Rwanda.
In a related development U.S. embassies across Africa including Ghana will build entrepreneurial capacity beyond the capital cities by training and helping to incubate the businesses of at least 5,000 aspiring entrepreneurs from the Network in provincial cities and rural areas during 2015.
StartUp Weekend and other experts will accompany a mobile incubator, equipped with the tools and technology to get a business off the ground.
Conducted in collaboration with local governments, institutions, and NGOs, the workshops and equipment are designed to walk aspiring entrepreneurs through the basic precepts of starting a business, including writing a business plan, leveraging online resources, raising capital, and expanding market share.
By: Vivian Kai Mensah/citifmonline/Ghana/Washington