The Chief Executive Officer of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (NEIP), Kofi Ofosu Nkansah, has disclosed that his institution will soon begin several innovation contests among Senior High School and Tertiary students with the view of unearthing their entrepreneurial skills.
Addressing the media on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, in an event dubbed “Innovation and Entrepreneurship Symposium” for some selected Senior High School students in the Greater Accra Region, Mr. Nkansah underscored the need for students to own their own businesses rather than looking to the government for employment.
According to him, the NEIP will collaborate with the key governmental institutions to help give them relevant advice and backing in the areas of business registration and protection of intellectual property.
“One area we are also lacking is the filing of patents, trade marks and designs; we are not able to own and protect the intellectual property of our innovators, so we are working together with the Registrar General’s Department, the Copyrights Office, the Attorney General’s Department, and all other relevant bodies to ensure that going forward, whatever innovations and inventions we discover, we have the young people, we do the necessary handholding, and we help them to also register and even go to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which is a UN body that facilitates the filing of patents, to ensure that patented inventions and innovations are also registered at the global level to help drive our development agenda,” he stressed.
He also urged the youngsters to participate in the contests when the time comes in order to bring out the entrepreneurial skills in them to help society as well as their own lives.
“We are going to have contests like the National Innovation Challenge, the High School Innovation Contest, and the National Innovation Hackathon; these we think will help us harness the best innovative ideas. After getting the best innovative ideas and solutions, the NEIP will go a step further to provide them with funding support grants, mostly to help launch these ideas and commercialize them, because if you have the ideas and don’t use them to solve problems, they are almost useless,” Mr. Ofosu Nkansah added.
He said that the selected candidates would additionally be offered technical and legal support to enable them to run their own businesses while protecting their intellectual property.
The program brought together relevant stakeholders, including the Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Standards Authority, Ghana Export Promotion Authority, development partners, and students from selected Senior High Schools in Accra.