Start-ups and SMEs are important parts of economies, globally, continentally and nationally. Globally, 95% of businesses are Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). About 60% of all private sector jobs are from small businesses. “The Private Sector drives job growth, accounting for 87% of total employment in 2016” (International Trade Centre (ITC)/UN., 2018). 4/5 of new formal jobs in emerging markets are from MSMEs, as major job providers, catalysts for growth, and promoters of innovation, creativity and decent work for all. Start-ups also account for up to 50% of all new jobs.
Young entrepreneurs are more active in high-growth sectors, are more likely to hire other young employees and pay higher wages than ‘older’ firms. But globally over 66 million Youth are unemployed, and 145 million young workers live in poverty. A mismatch in skills means that many young people cannot secure jobs. Entrepreneurship therefore becomes imperative for providing self-employment to the entrepreneurs and other youth. However, Start-Ups and SMEs are neglected and not assisted in realising their potential for alleviating poverty and creating jobs, livelihoods, incomes and decent work for many.
SMEs also make up 70-90% of African Economies; contribute 70% of its GDP; supply about 80% of its jobs; cater for the lower end of the majority of its population and hold the potential for poverty reduction and development of African economies, and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). But this sector is woefully neglected and undeveloped. The development of SMEs in Africa holds the key to a Continent at the verge of its historic and unprecedented development.
START-UPS IN GHANA
Among the Youth of Ghana are some of the top ICT brains in the world which are wasting because of neglect due to a lack of an Institutional Framework to deliberately identify the potentials of our human capital and develop them into National assets which have significant contributions to the Economy. But this is what has propelled progress in developed and emerging Countries.
It comes as no wonder that “It is obvious that it is the youth who will drive the discovery of new technologies, innovation and growth in the future” (p. 163 NPP 2016 Manifesto). Whilst there is a dearth of Job Solutions in Ghana, several youths have hatched innovative ideas, invented technologies, products and services which are badly needed to meet growing needs in Smart Technologies and ICT, food security and agriculture, health, water systems, renewable energy, waste recycling, waste to energy, adaptation to climate, affordable housing and rural enterprises, but these do not go beyond the stage of discovery into enterprises which are productive, profitable and sustainable, meeting the numerous needs that are in the community.