Owing to the socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 and Russia-Ukraine war, the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) has initiated reforms in its job creation strategies to focus more on collaborative innovation, commercialisation and start-ups to sharpen individuals’ skills, broaden their horizons, and help them gain valuable insights to create sustainable development.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NEIP, Kofi Ofosu Nkansah, made the disclosure during the launch of the maiden NEIP Innovation and Entrepreneurship Week yesterday in Accra. It was under the theme “Creating Sustainable Development Through Collaborative Innovation and Commercialisation”.
He explained that the celebration is aimed at amplifying what goes on in the country’s entrepreneurship landscape and enhance innovation. As part of the programme, he said, his outfit had developed a five-year strategic plan to fuel this agenda.
He noted that the innovation and start-up ecosystem is significantly different from the Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) ecosystem, which requires tailor-made framework to make meaningful impact in the innovation space.
Based on this, he pointed out, some strategies and tactic on innovation programmes the NEIP will be undertaking to achieve the desired results and propel development.
The NEIP CEO assured that his outfit would devote significant resources to programmes that unearth innovations, and deliver mentoring and coaching to high innovation-based start-ups.
He said his outfit would provide direct and indirect funding support to third party institutions such as tech-hubs, incubators, accelerators, and other business development service providers, who provide business support for innovation-based start-ups
Mr Ofosu Nkansah added that NEIP would establish knowledge transfer partnership schemes by placing young people into innovation based start-up clusters for them to conduct strategic innovation projects. “Ghanaians are culturally not inclined to partner others for collaboration and synergies, so this one of the ways we hope to address this issue,” he stated.
He further intends to scout for innovation ideas through contests, challenges, competitions in partnership with corporate institutions and foundations, offer study tours to both local and international incubators and hubs, and promote online entrepreneurship and innovation courses
“We will organise competitions aimed at encouraging innovation and creative thinking among students. Embark on annual innovation, ideation and creative thinking scouting in various districts to hunt for Innovation based start-ups and innovation talents,” he revealed.
He stated the NEIP Innovation and Entrepreneurship Celebration is aimed at bringing together the brightest minds, innovative ideas and various opportunities that lie within the country’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem. He stressed that it will cut across all persons, including Persons With Disabilities (PWD).
As part of efforts to enhance creativity, he said, it will include many engaging programmes and initiatives designed to inspire, educate, and connect aspiring Innovators and entrepreneurs with the resources they need to grow.
“Throughout these celebrations, participants will have the chance to take part in interactive workshops, engaging panel discussions, and thought-provoking keynotes delivered by industry leaders and experts. They will get the opportunity to sharpen their skills, broaden their horizons, and gain valuable insights into various facets of Innovation and entrepreneurship,” he added.
He announced that he programmes outlined for the innovation celebrations would include Senior High School Innovation Challenge, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Symposium, Hackathon Competition and the NEIP Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase.
The NEIP boss, therefore, called on the entire innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem to champion these innovation management programmes to spur the growth of the private sector and translate into more jobs being created for the youth.
“After all the most successful companies, are usually the most Innovative companies. We hope to see our innovators filling patents at WIPO, as the Chinas and Japans do, as result of these programmes we will be undertaking. Let us celebrate the solutions from our Innovators and Entrepreneurs to encourage them to innovate more to fuel the growth of our Economy. I wish all prospective participants in our Innovation programmes, the very best,” he concluded