‘Entrepreneur In You’ initiative to address challenges faced by student entrepreneurs – UMAT Student Leader

Frimpong Collins
Frimpong Collins
8 Min Read

Harnessing the entrepreneurship skills, ideas, and potentials of young people must be considered in building a resilient economy of the country while providing the necessary infrastructure and resources such as support, assistance as well as opportunities.

Acknowledging the relevance of the above statement, Maxwell Investments Group (MIG) back in 2017 incorporated what has now become the Africa School of  Entrepreneurship (ASoE). ASoE drives entrepreneurship by providing opportunities, platforms, and resources to student entrepreneurs in various tertiary institutions nationwide. Notable among their efforts is their segment on the JoyNews Prime & DStv Channel 421 at 8:00 PM every Monday & Thursday, on the Joy Business Report Thursdays at 1:00 PM on Joy99.7FM, and also on their social media channels.

MIG & ASoE continue their efforts through the ‘Entrepreneur In You’ Campus Tour events involving various tertiary institutions such as the University of Mines & Technology (UMAT), Ghana Communications & Technology University (GCTU), University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), etc.

Sharing his views on the initiative, the President of the Economics and Management Students Association (EMSA) of the University of Mines & Technology (UMAT), Benjamin Banfo Essoun, expressed his excitement about the collaboration between UMAT and ‘Entrepreneur In You’.

According to him, the initiative has the potential to significantly impact and empower student entrepreneurs on campus by connecting students with resources, mentorship, and real-world entrepreneurial experiences, adding;

“‘Entrepreneur In You’ can help foster a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem within our university community.”

Speaking on his experience, he highlighted some of the major challenges faced by students interested in entrepreneurship, such as access to funding, lack of practical business knowledge, limited networking opportunities, and uncertainty about transforming their ideas into viable ventures.

“Initiatives like ‘Entrepreneur In You’ and the work of organisations like Maxwell Investments Group can help overcome these obstacles by providing students with access to seed funding, mentorship from successful entrepreneurs, and hands-on workshops and training programs to develop their entrepreneurial skills.”

Access to resources and mentorship, he noted, is crucial for aspiring student entrepreneurs, believing that the Africa School of Entrepreneurship can play a vital role in facilitating these opportunities by serving as a hub for entrepreneurial activities, connecting students with industry experts, and offering tailored support and guidance throughout the entrepreneurial journey.

Touching on the immense contributions of MIG’s CEO, Dr. Maxwell Ampong, he expressed his respect for Dr. Maxwell Ampong’s efforts in creating the ‘Entrepreneur In You’ initiative.

To him, Dr. Maxwell Ampong’s vision to empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs is genuinely admirable, and he Benjamin is honoured to be part of this collaborative effort.

“As a student leader, I see my role as a bridge between the university administration, faculty, and the student body, ensuring that the initiative is well-aligned with our needs and that students are actively engaged and supported throughout the process,” he asserted.

With the support of initiatives like ‘Entrepreneur In You’, Mr. Benjamin Banfo Essoun envision the future of student entrepreneurship to be increasingly vibrant and impactful.

In addition, providing students with the necessary resources, mentorship, and a supportive ecosystem, he noted that;

“We can nurture a new generation of innovative problem-solvers and job creators who will drive economic growth and social transformation across Africa”.

To achieve the above, the UMAT-EMSA president indicated that he would engage and motivate fellow students to participate in the initiative through various communication channels, including social media, campus-wide events, and targeted outreach to student organisations.

“I believe the most effective strategies will be to highlight the tangible benefits and success stories, as well as create a sense of community and shared purpose among aspiring student entrepreneurs.”

Mr. Essoun acknowledged that balancing academic responsibilities, student leadership, and entrepreneurial pursuits is challenging, but a crucial skill for developing well-rounded individuals.

He indicated that he makes it a priority to maintain a structured schedule, set clear priorities, and leverage time-management techniques to ensure that he fulfils all of his commitments effectively.

To his colleagues and students of the University of Mines & Technology (UMAT), he advised them to communicate openly with their professors and academic advisors, seek support from mentors and peers, and be proactive in managing their workload and commitments.

On collaborations between student organisations and external business entities like MIG and the ASoE, he believes these collaborations can significantly enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem on the UMAT campus.

“By bringing in industry expertise, access to networks, and potential funding opportunities, these partnerships can provide students with invaluable resources and exposure to real-world entrepreneurial experiences. This collaboration can also foster valuable cross-pollination of ideas and facilitate the translation of academic knowledge into practical, innovative business solutions.”

Expressing his expectations for the long-term impact of the ‘Entrepreneur In You’ initiative on UMAT and its students, he believes the initiative will catalyse a thriving entrepreneurial culture where students are empowered to turn their innovative ideas into successful ventures.

He also believes that the initiative will not only produce a new generation of entrepreneurial leaders but also contribute to economic development and job creation in our local community and beyond.

Joy Business News is the Media Partner to the ‘Entrepreneur In You’ Initiative, and GCB Bank PLC, Ghana’s largest indigenous bank, is a sponsor. These partners contribute invaluably to the reach and quality of the students’ experience.

In his message to fellow youth and colleagues, he urged them to believe in themselves, embrace their unique talents and passions, and never underestimate the power of their ideas.

“With hard work, determination, and the support of initiatives like ‘Entrepreneur In You,’ you can turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality and make a lasting impact on your communities and the world; remember, the future belongs to those who are willing to take risks, challenge the status quo, and create the change they wish to see. So, let’s embark on this exciting journey together and show the world what the youth of Africa can achieve,” he concluded.

Story by: Frimpong Collins | univers.ug.edu.gh

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