The youthful population is the group that is highly affected by the social, political and economic development in the country. They experience social injustices and inequalities in several areas of their life, yet, they remain the main drivers of future change. Therefore, ensuring that they have the capacity and supporting structures to participate and influence development is essential.
Innovation and entrepreneurship are two closely related words used in the business world. Sports as innovation would help bring the youth together to create better opportunities for entrepreneurs, especially in northern Ghana, since a lot of people love sports. A network of this kind has been conspicuously missing in this part of the country for a long while now. That is why the Sports and Entrepreneurship for Economic Development (SEED) Network was launched, on the 28th and 29th of July 2020 at the Radach Conference and Lodge Center. This Network has been formed as a result of a partnership between HOPin Academy, an innovation hub in Tamale and Fant Denmark, a humanitarian organization in Denmark to help young entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs come together to share ideas and difficulties in starting their businesses in Northern Ghana, to create a thriving and helpful environment for entrepreneurs in the future.
People from different walks of life have been included in the Network to enhance diversity. The network has entrepreneurs from varied backgrounds; different communities, educational and sports institutions. The diversity of the SEED network will help young entrepreneurs with an interest in innovation and entrepreneurship become better organized and ready to thrive. This would create a stronger voice when advocating for better conditions for entrepreneurs.
The launch of the Network was one of a kind; insightful and inspiring. As participants testified, they were motivated and given so much to ponder over by the various speakers as well as the panel discussions. Participants shared their experiences from the 2-day event and looked forward to the limitless possibilities and vast potential from the network.
For some participants and entrepreneurs, the event and being part of the SEED network was the defining moment in their entrepreneurial ventures and the beginning of a great and a worthwhile journey cum learning experience. From learning about the identification of problems to feasibility studies, marketing strategies and finding mentors. The membership of the network is charged and ready to rumble in the world of entrepreneurship. In a post-event interview, when one of the participants was asked to share what she had learnt from the launch, she said “when you are advocating for a change in policy, especially the policies that affect startups, you should involve the necessary people such as the police, to guide you in your advocacy especially if it involves demonstrations, peace walks etc. You should also remember that we all have human rights so you should not infringe on other people’s rights when advocating for your rights.”
The launch of the Network ended successfully. The participants, guest speakers, organizers and all alike were happy to be a part of the launch. Happy that there is a unified front (SEED Network) to help entrepreneurs push for better entrepreneurial policies in Northern Ghana. And one can be almost certain that greater things are about to hit the landscape of entrepreneurship especially in the northern part of Ghana.