The National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) has launched the fourth Presidential Pitch to help boost the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country.
It is a deliberate, systematic, and integrated policy initiative by the NEIP, as a special purpose vehicle for job creation, to help reduce youth unemployment.
The Presidential Pitch seeks to turn creative businesses by the Ghanaian youth into global giants with the support of government. The application portal, which is www.neip.gov.gh, has been opened and is expected to close by July, 14, 2023.
According to the deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NEIP, Abigail Swad Laryea, who addressed the media last weekend at the launch on the initiative, themed “Building a Sustainable Entrepreneurial nation; the role of our future unicorns,” she indicated that her outfit had been a key catalyst in realising the vision of building an inclusive, integrated, innovative, and conducive ecosystem for entrepreneurs in the country
“One of the initiatives is the NEIP, whose primary objective is to provide training, business development services, capacity building, mentoring, funding, and access to market linkages to all our beneficiaries, to enable them to grow and become successful,” she said.
She believes the NEIP has become a solution to the national youth unemployment menace, and a special purpose vehicle designed by the President to lead the charge in creating jobs.
The deputy CEO also disclosed that the government is in the process of building an entrepreneurial state as part of the Ghana Beyond Aid blueprint.
She bemoaned that the country is facing enormous challenges in jobs and there is the need to encourage our youth to be job creators and not job seekers.
It is part of the reasons that she noted it has become necessary for the focus to be on entrepreneurship and innovation as that is the direction the whole world is moving towards.
For the business competition, Madam Abigail Laryea disclosed, is a revolution in the history of Ghana for young entrepreneurs, serves as an incubating platform for existing businesses and capital funding from the government.
NEIP disclosed that the competition will focus on the Agriculture, Fintech and technology, Manufacturing and processing, Tourism and the creative arts, TVET and any other economically viable area. Also, the applications will be narrowed down from the usual 20 to top 25.
She added that the award packages for this year’s competition have also been increased. Government is earmarking GHS2.5 million for the top 25 contestants.
The Eligibility Criteria for the Presidential Pitch Competition
- This competition is open to Ghanaian citizens only
- Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 40 years at the time of application. The competition aims to encourage the country’s youth, so only individuals within the specified age range are eligible to participate
- Applicants must present businesses that are innovative, feasible, scalable, and impactful.
iii. It should also be able to address social, economic, or environmental challenges
- And it must have a positive impact on society
- Finally, the business submitted must be the original work of the applicant and should not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of others.