The founder of Ghana Startup Network, Solomon Adjei has described efforts geared towards seeing to the implementation of the startup bill as “looking beyond” the effects of the pandemic on businesses.
Doubling as the Communications Director for the Ghana Startup bill, Mr. Adjei, highlighted on the timeliness of the bill amid COVID-19.
“It’s very timely that we look at what startups go through at the moment. Covid has affected every business; we are the most affected, startups go down and down. Research shows that, we provide much jobs to the population even more than the government, but as we speak now, most companies have gone down. We are not able to employ as we used to employ… so it affected us massively and so, we think that this is the time that we get certain incentive that we need as people to put ourselves in a place so government will have to support us as startups”.
Considering government’s efforts in alleviating the impact of the pandemic on businesses via its administration of various stimulus packages, Mr. Adjei, insists that, “the focus is not just on Covid-19”.
“COVID is just a passing phase of it. We are looking at a permanent thing for generations yet unborn. So, the focus is to legitimize certain things. For instance, what is happening now with the NBSSI support for startup; can we get a way to make it legitimized so that every startup can apply for it with or with COVID-19.
“The bill is looking beyond just COVID-19, it is a broad thing, that when it is implemented or passed by parliament, it’s going to more of create an incentive framework to support startups”.
Although the bill is still at the preliminary stage, Mr. Adjei explained that the sensitization workshop will afford startups a rare opportunity to be well acquainted with the scope of the bill.
“As part of our mandate as a committee, we are supposed to engage every stakeholder in the system. This is a bill that is being worked on by us and for us and so the key point for us is to engage everybody [and] get the views of everybody who matters. Over the time, we’ve engaged series of people, where we invited stakeholders whose voice matter when it comes to operations in Ghana like the RGD, the FDA… they came on board to view what we’ve done as a draft, made their input and that was great for us”.
He further explained that, the aim of the workshop will offer a leeway to comprehensively define “who a startup really is” as well as access to funding, mentorships and market.
“The next stage we are, is to engage the end user beneficiaries with the acts. The workshop is basically to present a draft bill to the young entrepreneurs and startups who are the beneficiaries, to now say make your input into it”.