THE National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) is in discussion with the National Service Scheme (NSS) and the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) to train unemployed graduates in business and entrepreneurship.
Under the programme, the participants should be prepared to set up their own businesses at the end of their two-year stint under the NYEP.
Mr Lukman Abdul-Rahim, the Executive Director of the NBSSI, explained that the move was to help reduce graduate and youth unemployment and create jobs to reduce poverty.
Mr Abdul-Rahim was speaking with the Daily Graphic in Sunyani shortly after meeting with some beneficiaries of the Root and Tuber Improvement and Marketing Programme (RTIMP).
The programme, which is sponsored by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), is aimed at providing managerial and technical support to actors in the value chain of root and tuber production and processors.
Mr Abdul-Rahim also visited some of the project sites of the beneficiaries under the programme and interacted with them to know their challenges at first-hand to make recommendations for assistance.
So far about 300 people in the Sunyani, Techiman and Kintampo North municipalities, Sunyani West, Tano North and Atebubu-Amantin districts in the Brong Ahafo Region who are mostly into the production and processing of root and tuber, particularly cassava, are benefiting from the programme.
Mr Abdul-Rahim said beneficiaries under the business and entrepreneurship training programme would be supported with start-up capital when they exited from the National Service to set up their own businesses.
He said he managerial component of the RTIMP was to do with how beneficiaries could operate as business entities and also work as entrepreneurs.
He said other components included developing business plans, record-keeping and basic accounting practices, safety and hygiene practices.
In terms of technical support, the NBSSI would come up with proposals to address the technical gaps in the area of skills, equipment or machines, he said.
Mr Abdul-Rahim said by doing so the NBSSI was also fulfilling its mandate to promote and develop micro enterprises in the country, adding that NBSSI activities were also spread across the 110 districts in the country.
He said the RTIMP would continue to make resources available to address all the challenges faced by micro enterprises to ensure their sustainability through improved productivity, high incomes and job creation, since they had the potential for achieving the government’s private sector agenda.