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Acknowledging Zongos’ Profound Importance And Contribution Towards Elevating Entrepreneurial Spirit In Ghana | Business News

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In an effort to energise the base of our country and rekindle the entrepreneurship spirit amongst the inhabitants of Zongos and inner cities, the Zongo Startup Summit has kicked off successfully.

The programme was a collaborative effort between the National Entreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), Ministry of Finance, The World Bank, Afro-Arab Microfinance and ZongoVation Capital.

On Saturday, December 23, 2023 at the Conference Hall of the National Mosque, Kanda, Accra, Mr. Benjamin Quashie who was the Special Guest and speaking on the theme, “Empower, Connect, Transform: Elevating Zongos’ Entrepreneurship Spirit, averred that “the entrepreneurship within the Zongo community has been recognised because of the vital role it plays in our socio-economic development of our country”.

The Group Chairman for Allied Consortium Group, shared that entrepreneurship in his view, is not merely a path to economic development; it is a catalyst for empowerment and community growth adding, as we embark on this journey, let’s explore the reasons why entrepreneurship is crucial for the Zongo community.

He highlighted three benefits to underscore the merits of why entrepreneurship is crucial within the Zongos. “Firstly, entrepreneurship creates employment opportunities, reducing unemployment rates and contributing to financial independence. Secondly, it encourages innovation and problem-solving, fostering a culture of creativity and adaptability, and lastly, it allows for the preservation and promotion of cultural identity, as businesses often reflect the unique characteristics of the communities they originate from”, he emphasised.

However, Mr. Quashie, being a businessman himself, brought to the fore, the challenges that entrepreneurs, especially in the Zongo community, are likely to face.

According to him, access to initial capital, bureaucratic hurdles and lack of infrastructure are significant obstacles, adding, “despite these challenges, I urge you not to lose hope. I urge you to believe in the story of the many business people who have emerged successful despite the harsh business environment” he encouraged the Zongo participants.

The Allied Group Chair anchored his illuminating speech to his audience by referencing the inspiring stories of successful Muslim entrepreneurs who have overcome similar hurdles.

“Think of names like Asumah Banda, who has made significant strides in various business sectors, proving that success knows no boundaries when determination and hard work are at the forefront”.

Additionally, he mentioned CEOs such as Alhaji Salamu Amadu of the Afro-Arab Group of Companies and Alhaji Mai Litafi, the CEO of Hulani Enterprise, adding, these stalwarts “exemplify the resilience and success achievable through dedication and effort. Notably, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, CEO of Graphic Communication Group and Chase Petroleum, also stands as a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit and achievements within the Zongo community”, he intimated.

He continued, “In our pursuit of elevating the Zongo entrepreneurial spirit, empowerment stands as a crucial pillar. We must empower individuals with the tools, skills, and knowledge they need to succeed”, he stated.

This, Mr. Quashie believes, must begin with a commitment to accessible and high-quality education, ensuring that our youth are equipped for the challenges and opportunities of the modern business landscape. “Financial literacy, vocational training, and technology education must be championed to empower individuals to navigate and contribute meaningfully to the entrepreneurial world”, He stated.

Empowerment, according to the Allied Group Chair also entails creating avenues for aspiring entrepreneurs to access capital. “By establishing community-based funds, collaborating with financial institutions and advocating for supportive policies, we can break down financial barriers and unleash the potential waiting to be tapped within our Zongo communities”, shared Mr. Quashie.

Continuing his “Entrepreneurship spirit within the Zongo” speech, he said the second pillar of the journey is networking. “Networking is the lifeblood of any thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. It involves fostering a collaborative culture where ideas, skills, and resources are shared and synergized. Networking events, communal workspaces, and community-driven projects can be the catalysts for meaningful connections. Who you know can change your destiny, so in all your getting, get to know relevant people”, he averred.

He however hinted that, one critical prerequisite that engenders entrepreneurship is mentorship and role models. In his view, it plays a pivotal role in connecting generations of entrepreneurs. “By creating mentorship programmes and platforms for experienced business leaders to guide and inspire emerging entrepreneurs, we establish valuable connections that transcend generations and ignite the flames of innovation”, he stated.

The transformative aspect of our journey so far signifies a shift in the mindset and a commitment to celebrating success. “We must break free from stereotypes and instill in our communities a fearless determination to pursue entrepreneurial dreams”, he emphasised.

Incidentally, the Group Chair for Allied Consortiums, reference the visionary proposal by John Dramani Mahama for a 24-hour economy. He argued that such a proposal holds immense potential for the Zongo community. “This proposal, when implemented, could bring a multitude of benefits to our doorstep. A 24-hour economy would increase business opportunities, providing more time for economic activities”, he emphasised.

Entrepreneurs in the Zongo community could capitalize on this by offering goods and services during non-traditional hours, catering to the needs of customers who work unconventional shifts or have different lifestyle patterns. It would also serve as a job creation opportunity, as the expansion of business hours may lead to increased demand for labor, creating job opportunities within the Zongo community.

“This could be particularly beneficial for youth employment and skill development. The implementation of a 24-hour economy would also bring diversity to our economic activities. Zongo entrepreneurs might explore new markets, products, or services to meet the demands of a round-the-clock society, fostering innovation and growth”, stated Mr. Quashie.

“However, I urge all my brothers and sisters here today to rally behind this vision, as many have demonstrated in the past few days, to rescue our Ghanaian economy. This, in turn, would benefit our business setups and bolster our spirit towards the entrepreneurial hub”, he noted.

In conclusion, “the elevation of Zongos’ entrepreneurial spirit is a holistic journey of empowerment, connection, and transformation. As we collectively embark on this endeavor, let us empower our youth, connect our talents, and celebrate our successes. Together, we can transform our Zongo communities into vibrant hubs of innovation, where dreams are not just imagined but realized, and where the entrepreneurial spirit thrives as a driving force for positive change. May the entrepreneurial spirit of Zongos continue to shine bright” he highlighted.

Source: Peacefmonline.com



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