The Centre for Business Development(CBD), of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST) under the African-German Entrepreneurship Academy(AGEA) programme has organised a Trainer of Trainers(ToT) Workshop series for twenty Higher Education Institutions(HEIs) as part of this year’s local activities.
The third HEIs ToT Workshop series targets representatives from the participating universities in Ghana who would be taken through training within the project period towards promoting entrepreneurship, business incubation and innovation in universities.
Opening the Workshop, Mr. Samuel Akomeah, Country Director of AGEA and Head of the CBD, said the One Hundred and Five Thousand Euros sponsored project is being financed by the German Academic Exchange Service(DAAD) with INES- Rwanda and the University of Leipzig as partners. He said the main objective is to bring together at least fifteen technical, private and public universities to give them mentorship and entrepreneurship training.
Mr. Akomeah was hopeful that at the end of the training, the institutions will be well equipped to set up their own business incubators and KNUST as a leader in business incubation, would share experiences with these institutions.
Dr. Ahmed Agyapong, Deputy Director of the Institute of Distance Learning (IDL KNUST), in his submission said KNUST has mapped out several strategies to promote entrepreneurship in Ghana particularly in the Kumasi Metropolis. He continued that KNUST does not believe in one approach and has an integrated approach.
Dr. Agyapong used the occasion to state a few entrepreneurship initiatives by the University. He stated that KNUST has entrepreneurship as part of its curriculum where all students are required to take the course.
Another approach is the Annual Entrepreneurship Clinic, organised every second semester where seasoned entrepreneurs are invited to share their experiences, challenges and success stories with the students.
Dr. Agyapong mentioned that KNUST School of Business(KSB) has also collaborated with the Association of Small Scale Industries (ASSI) in the Ashanti Region through interactions and market outreach events, which has resulted in the University, identifying their challenges and offering support to them through the running of literacy programmes. He also revealed that the KSB faculty has some collaboration with ENGINE Technoserve for the past four years to help train entrepreneurs on developing business concepts, writing business plans and business presentations, where the best trainees are sponsored to expand their businesses.
In conclusion, Dr. Agyapong said the University is engaging in research in the area of entrepreneurship sustainability, innovation and internationalisation. According to the Deputy Director of IDL, it is time academia shared their research findings with entrepreneurs to help them. He noted that the rural banks in the Ashanti Region as well as the Universal Bank has benefited from such research and training.
The four-day training will see participants review and assess entrepreneurship innovation tools from previous year’s training. Participants would also have presentations on stakeholder consultative approach, promoting entrepreneurship and innovations; means and strategies, among others. The Workshop will have a practice- oriented as well as interactive sessions with field trips to other incubators and innovation hubs in the Greater Accra Region.