Fighting unemployment through the promotion of social enterprises
Academicians from international and national universities around the world have proposed social enterprise as a key measure to stem the high wave of graduate unemployment in the country.
The concept feeds on research to identify gaps in needs and provide these services in an environmentally responsible manner that does not compromise the future assets of the unborn population.
Professor Ernest Christian Eshun, of the Technical University of Accra, during a workshop to present the concept to selected students from the Technical University of Takoradi, said the project was sponsored by the British Council in collaboration with the University of Huddersfield and Bolton in the UK and its local partner, Social Enterprise launched the program to address the abnormal level of unemployment in Ghana.
He said that as providers of higher education, it has become imperative to research the high unemployment rate among graduates and come up with solutions in this regard.
The professor said: “and we expect our higher education to break the cycle because most young people go to higher education…Why can’t they find jobs because there is something that doesn’t doesn’t go our way of doing things. And we think we should train their students to be social entrepreneurs.
“So as we try to solve unemployment problems and do business, we can end up killing society. So, we should produce socially acceptable programs or projects… We look at companies that will have an impact on society as well as on individuals in society.
He said that the Technical University of Accra with its partners would come up with a program to organize short courses on the subject, adding that the workshop was a process of raising awareness and gathering information to fuel development and l adoption of the concept of social enterprise in higher education across the country.
Dr Denis Hymas-Sskasi from the University of Bolton guided students through enhancing innovation entrepreneurship and encouraged them to differentiate themselves, engage through effective communication skills, deliver good leadership, creativity to lead to problem-solving abilities to meet the needs of society.
He said the project would take place in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya to create a culture of innovation and improve the quality of graduates from participating institutions.
Dr. Hymas-Sskasi said other elements included mentorship, resource motivation and short courses to enable students to do better in the region.
Ms. Ama Darko, a business consultant, urged them to be mindful of sustainable businesses as the world strives to achieve zero carbon emissions.
Mr. Sydney Joji Heuton, Founder of SKY Micro Credit, encouraged students to start small and move forward.
He said business integrity was fundamental to every brand’s long-term survival.
Students were encouraged to form partnerships to enable them to have better strength from the early stages of the business.
They should also have mentors and use the National Business Advisory Council for mentoring and other capacity and resource support.