In a bid to combat rising youth unemployment and empower the next generation of entrepreneurs, the UGBS Innovation and Incubation Hub with support from the British Council hosted the Enterprise Support and Incubation Curriculum Development workshop on 15th September 2023, at the British Council, Accra. This groundbreaking event brought together key Stakeholders such as Higher Education Institutions, Government representatives, Donor Agencies, and several students across the country to lay the foundation for a standardised entrepreneurship curriculum aimed at enterprise development within higher educational institutions.
The event, which was expertly moderated by Mr. Matthew Ansah, commenced with a warm welcome address delivered by Mrs. Mammie Hutchful-Nortey, on behalf of Prof. Felix Asante, the programme's guest speaker and the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development at the University of Ghana. The inspiring speech highlighted the transformative impact of entrepreneurship and shared the success story of a startup nurtured through a similar initiative by the UGBS Nest; the IAU Ghana Connect programme. The audience responded with enthusiastic applause, showing their support for the initiative.
Dignitaries and stakeholders, including Mrs. Shika Acolatse, Country Director for Enablis and a key partner in the curriculum development, and representatives from various universities, NGOs, the Ministry of Education, and GTEC, were introduced to the eager audience.
Mr. Nii Doodo Dodoo, the Country Director of the British Council, delivered a keynote address expressing his relief at the introduction of this vital initiative. He emphasised the pressing issue of youth unemployment and the significance of the curriculum in addressing this challenge. He highlighted the British Council's commitment to supporting hubs in higher educational institutions and officially launched the curriculum, alongside Mrs. Mammie Hutchful-Nortey.
Following the launch, Dr. George Acheampong, UGBS Nest Coordinator, provided insights into the project's origins and the curriculum's core focus. He emphasised that the initiative aimed to be open-source, catering to a wide range of individuals. The event's primary goal was not only to launch the project but also to gather feedback from key stakeholders and students for the curriculum’s development.
A stimulating panel discussion followed, featuring Mrs. Acolatse of Enablis, Dr. Acheampong of UGBS Nest, and Mr. Emmanuel Duku of GTEC. They candidly shared their thoughts and challenges in developing the curriculum. Mrs. Acolatse expressed her enthusiasm for the project, stating, "It's about time. This project should have started years ago, but it is still great that it's happening now." She also outlined the coaching and mentoring criteria, timeframes, and other essential details. All panellists underscored the importance of entrepreneurship in addressing the current economic crisis and youth unemployment. Mr. Emmanuel Duku from GTEC elaborated on the curriculum's accreditation processes, while Dr. Acheampong stressed the need for additional support and funding, citing personal experiences of heavy teaching loads alongside his work at the hub.
The audience then had the opportunity to provide feedback and pose questions. Participants, including students, raised concerns, made valuable contributions, and offered suggestions. Miss Akorfa Dawson, the British Council's project lead, delivered an appreciative speech, urging collaboration and involvement from all interested institutions to facilitate the curriculum's growth and expansion.
The event concluded with a lively photo session and a networking lunch, leaving participants excited and supportive of the entrepreneurship curriculum project. This initiative represents a significant step toward equipping the youth with the skills and knowledge needed for a brighter economic future.
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