As part of measures to support Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in establishing businesses to meet International standards, Head of Digital Transformation at Stanbic Bank, Patrick Quantson has disclosed that the introduction of the SB Incubator will create an avenue for young startups to become Industrious Entrepreneurs in Ghana and beyond.
According to him, the programme introduced will fulfill Stanbic Bank's vision of empowering youths as well as creating employment among the unemployed.
Speaking at the launch of SB Incubator, Mr. Quantson said "We as a brand believe that the economy is going to grow from the new businesses springing up and to show our commitment to Ghana creating jobs for the citizens as well as companies that grow to become big."
He added that the Incubator program has been put together in four stages by the Bank.
"So it has ideation, where we come together with people that have various ideas and help shape it into businesses. Incubation part, this is putting ideas and businesses through rigour of establishing sustainable companies. Acceleration process is also where SMEs who want to grow beyond their certain constraints and their current circumstances Value Chain Integration. This is beginning to build SMEs to supply big cooperate institutions in Ghana." he recalled.
The hardest part of starting up is starting out surrounded by smart, passionate people and with the best tools and approaches at one's disposal, one will take giant leaps toward creating a business, becoming a founder and connecting. The Stanbic Bank Incubator (SBIncubator) is 3rd generation Business Incubator, a Corporate Social Initiative set up by Stanbic Bank Ghana, a member of the Standard Bank Group to contribute towards the promotion of entrepreneurship among the youth and women in Africa. It is an initiative to contribute to improving the economic state of the country and the people of Ghana through job creation, access to market and providing an enabling environment for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as well as Start-Ups to grow.
Mr. Quantson further revealed that Stanbic Bank will put specific businesses in a curriculum-based classroom and field type interventions that will help them grow their businesses.
He said "We also open the Incubator for any startup in four industries. We have identified four sectors of the economy which we are growing. So if so any startup doing financial technology, Agri-business, Manufacturing or Clean and green business is open to come to the Incubator to get advisory services, co-working space, marketing services, legal services, finance services, they will have services that don't pay anything so they can grow the business. We believe that the way to grow business and the economy is by building an enabling environment for young entrepreneurs to thrive."
The Head of Digital Transformation also hinted that since the SB Incubator isn't a man job, the Government of Ghana likewise some industry players who will provide avenues for the young business owners through practical training to become the best.
"We are bringing specialists in the Ecosystem so we have a set of services we are providing. For 2yrs, we took our time to understand the system. We have a partnership with Oracle and Government and we believe we will spread this message to the whole Ghana." he mentioned.
Incubator Manager, Foster Akugri revealed that although he was given the opportunity, many Organisations tend to look down on University graduates tagging them as ‘Inexperience’.
He said “Talent deficiency is something you will not find in Ghana. There is a lot going on with challenges being the conversation between the Industry and Academia. In as much as they are training and churning out graduates, the graduates are not speaking to the requirement of the industry and this is affecting they been employed. Incubators are forms of translators between Academia and Industry to prepare and give them that needed skills to get into the job market. Most Organizations require two to three years working experience and looking at what we are going through, how do you expect a fresh graduate to provide it?"
Executive Director of Stanbic Bank, Alhassan Andani lauded the initiative and urged young entrepreneurs as well as SMEs to take up the challenge and help boost the economy of the country.