GhanaThink Foundation holds networking and business development barcamp in Wa
GhanaThink Foundation, a talent mobilization social enterprise, has held a free networking and business development forum for young people and other business-minded people in Wa.
The forum dubbed BarCamp is an initiative by the GhanaThink Foundation that brings together change-makers and doers for a day of discussion and dialogue as well as entrepreneurs, startups and potential entrepreneurs for learning, coaching and mentoring.
Mr Ato Ulzen-Appiah, the Director of the GhanaThink Foundation, in an interview with Info Radio at the sidelines of the event, said the core objective of the BarCamp was to bring young peope together to learn, share, network and market themselves and their ideas so as to meet the right people who could help them actuate their ideas into businesses.
“The core objective of the BarCamp is to bring young especially together so that they can learn, they can share who they are, market who they are, network with others to be able to build the network to support them in their career or their profession and also to get mentored or to get good advice.
“So we believe that people who come to BarCamps, we want them to develop personally, so they take responsibility of their personal development…learn more from other people, meet people who can help them start a business together, volunteer on something, do a service for, get a service from,” he said.
Mr Ulzen-Appiah estimated that over 17,000 people have participated in the BarCamp forums since 2008 and that mention could be made of several startups and businesses that received breath from the forum while several other people have been able to secure jobs through the forums.
He intimated that there were lots of great young talents in Ghana and, that as part of the GhanaThink’s mission of mobilizing and organizing talent for Ghana, BarCamps sought to bring them together to work collaboratively and get celebrated.
“We want people to have fewer excuses why they don’t succeed,” Mr Ulzen-Appiah said, adding that “If we can point out to so many successful young people doing what they are doing, others will feel like ‘I can also do it’ and they will push and go and get things done.”
He said the GhanaThink Foundation envisioned building a critical mass of young Ghanaians who are patriotic, passionate, positive, proactive, progressive, and productive.
He believed that if the majority of Ghanaian youth inculcates those values, “the country would change, we would follow better people, we would be influenced by better people, we would vote for better leaders, we would build better businesses, better products, we would even want to use great Ghanaian products just because of the kind of people we are.”
Mr Sumaila Chakurah, the Chief Executive Officer of Noni Hub, who was a mentor at the forum, observed that the young people he met during the ‘speed mentorship sessions’ were full of brilliant ideas and just needed a guide to validate those ideas.
“Some people are there, they want to start a career but they don’t even know who to talk to, so this served as a great opportunity for them to actually just get a word that would enable them to start,” he told Info Radio in an interview after the forum.
He also observed that there was another group of young people who had interests in entrepreneurship but lacked the ability to identify what type of businesses to actually pursue, which he described as a challenge.
“It is about time we organized more problems to help them to validate their ideas,” he said, while he advised the young people to seek internships and training activities to help affirm their ideas.
Mr Chakurah said he has offered some of the young people the opportunity to seek incubation, mentorship and training programmes from his outfit, Noni Hub to support their growth.
The event was the seventh BarCamp in Wa and the 118th countywide since the GhanaThink Foundation began holding BarCamps in 2008.
The speed mentorship sessions featured resourceful business coaches and mentors including such women enterprise coaches as Maria Johana Yuorpor, CEO of Mara Foods, and Dr Naazia Ibrahim, CEO of Angsobie Agribusiness, among others.