The University of Mines and Technological (UMaT) in a move to transform students’ research works and projects into business ventures has outdoored a UMaT Business incubation hub with a maiden project in partnership with SNV GrEEn Project.
The Vice-Chancellor of UMaT, Professor Richard Akwasi Amankwah, speaking at the launching of the U-Hub at Tarkwa said this will end the wastage of student’s research works, encourage innovations and help to make the university a hub for creating businesses and entrepreneurs to solve societal problems.
“UMaT has the aim of providing solutions to problems and meeting the needs of society. It is our belief that the university should be committed to thinking locally, but act globally. The university, thus, believes that innovations should benefit the wider society for a global impact.”
“The UMaT Business Hub has been designed to facilitate the transformation of innovations into businesses, transform innovators into entrepreneurs, link the products and services of innovators to industry for uptake and to develop young businesses into competitive and scalable ventures. Consequently, the hub would serve as a vehicle to contribute to the production of entrepreneurial graduates rather than job seekers.”
The Vice-Chancellor also said the U-Hub project aligns with the government policy of self-sufficiency.
“We believe that Ghana beyond aid agenda of the Government, also involves creating business opportunities through innovative ideas that will boost job creation and the subsequent employment of young people who are the major asset of this country”, he added.
The Business Development and Market Linkages Advisor for SNV Ghana, Jonathan Yelevielbayire, giving the objectives of the SNV GrEEn Project support to the U-Hub beneficiaries said the project hopes to train about 5,000 youth.
“The SNV GrEEn Project, the GrEEN stand for ‘Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana’, shortened as GrEEn. It is a four-year project that started in 2019, and it will end in November 2023. It is being funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and implemented by SNV.”
“It has the objective to help create green employment to discourage youth migration in Ashanti and Western Regions. The project seeks to support the development and scale-up of businesses in the Agricultural sector, Renewable Energy, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sectors,” he said.
Dr. Frank Boateng who is the Chairman of UMaT Business Incubation Hub, said the U-Hub project fulfils the university’s goal of producing job creators and not job seekers.
“It is to ensure that UMaT truly occupies its rightful place as a centre of excellence by not just producing job seekers but rather entrepreneurs and job creators within their respective fields of training here at UMaT”, he said.
One of the first three beneficiary students of the U-Hub, Blankson Asiako spoke to Citi News about his expectations of the hub.
“As a student, I decided to look around the raw materials we have particularly within my locality and create a business out of it. I love to work for myself and create job opportunities for others so getting the opportunity to be on the U-Hub SNV GrEEn project, I’m hoping to expand my business through the innovation ideas I will get here. This will help me to develop a product of national and international acceptance”, he said.
The U-Hub is a result of the Annual Innovation and Career Fair instituted in 2015 by UMaT to encourage and advance innovations among students and staff of the University.