About 10 million cedis has been made available to support startups in the five regions of the north under the Zongo Business Initiative.
According to the Ministry of Business Development, the initiative seeks to build the entrepreneurial skills of the youth in zongo communities in Ghana for job creation.
Launching the initiative in Tamale, the sector minister, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, said it will also assist business owners to scale up as well as support new business ideas.
He says this will help reduce Ghana’s unemployment rate among the youth in the country.
“Our Zongos in the past are still contributing to Ghana’s development. They are made of the traders, artisans among others. It is time we recognize the contribution of Ghana’s Zongos to the country’s development. This program is to build the capacity of the Zongo men and women to own businesses and scale up their businesses. It will also address the high unemployment rate in zongo communities and the country at large,” he said.
As part of the launch, over 200 young people from the five regions of the northern zone were brought together to undergo entrepreneurship training, to enable them apply for the fund.
The Minister urged them to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to produce quality products to meet international demand.
“I urge you to take this training very seriously because at any stage you are going to give us very simple business plans. We have devoted ten million cedis to support Zongo businesses in the five regions of the North. Ghana is hosting the secretariat of the AfCFTA. We must therefore build our strong businesses for export. So take advantage of it and submit business plans for funding support,” he added.
Some participants spoke with Citi Business News about the initiative.
“We have been in business for so long, but we don’t know how to manage it properly. However, we have learnt new strategies about starting and sustaining a business,” Amina Aminu, a beautician said.