Published: 27 Mar 2017 Source: University Relations Office (URO)
The KNUST School of Business (KSB) has opened its 11th Business Week Celebration themed “Growing the Entrepreneurship Zeal of the Business Student”. In his opening remarks, Professor Bernard Kofi Baiden, Dean of KSB, stated that the theme of the celebration was in response to the national agenda which proposes that the private sector should be the engine of growth for the nation. “It is also in furtherance to our aim of training modern students not to look for impossible or non-existent jobs upon graduation but to create employment for themselves and others,“ he added.
The Dean noted that in line with the School’s policy of equipping students with entrepreneurial skills, KSB had gone into partnerships with industry through internships and entrepreneurial training. The school had earlier organised five (5) workshops intended to help students find opportunities in the business world.
According to Professor Baiden, this is to help students embrace the concept of “employ yourself after university”. Students would be exposed to various entrepreneurs to encourage them in the course of the celebration.
Mr. Samuel Sarpong, Chief Operating Officer of GCB Bank Limited, who was the Special Guest Speaker, stated that Ghana needed action-oriented people to move the nation to the next level. He explained that since there was no job security, people should be helped through entrepreneurship. Kumasi as the bedrock of mechanical and manufacturing artisans was a viable place for business. He continued that even though most artisans had no formal education, they were doing well and so graduates had everything to be even more successful.
Mr. Sarpong encouraged the students not to say they do not have capital and land but to envision the world, social media with its numerous users as a virtual land in which they can identify opportunities to start businesses. He stated that most of the world’s big businesses were once student businesses and as such they should start forming partnerships with their friends to start businesses.
The students were also encouraged to start in a small way and expand from there. They were advised to look out for opportunities by volunteering to serve to improve their communication and marketing skills.
Mr. Rodney Saint Acquaye, Head of Corporate Banking, HFC Bank Ghana Limited, in his presentation said unemployment had grown from bad to worse with the 2010 Population and Housing Census indicating that 5.3% of the population remained unemployed which translated into 1.3 million Ghanaians with 928,000 living in urban areas. According to the Ghana Living Standards Survey 2013, 250,000 young people enter the labour market every year out of which 2% are absorbed whereas 98% seek employment in the informal sector or remain unemployed.
Mr. Saint Acquaye said the situation had resulted in graduates with high academic qualifications ready to take jobs below them as the supply of labour had exceeded demand.
He observed that this was a great time to think outside the box, save money, utilize entrepreneurial skill acquired and to be bold to develop a plan towards entrepreneurship. He noted that there were several opportunities in Ghana to make money and to create employment for others. Mr. Acquaye therefore encouraged the business students to take inspiration from companies such as Group Nduom, Ernest Chemists, Kasapreko Company Limited, Despite Group, KAMA Health Services among others which were fully Ghanaian-owned companies and to believe that they can do what the owners of the companies had done.
This year’s business week celebration would also feature a donation to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, sessions with business and professional associations, a cinema show and a thanksgiving service.