The most enduring legacy a business leader and/or an entrepreneur can leave behind is adequate investment in people, especially young people, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Minister for Business Development, has said.
“Invest in people. As you make your money, try to invest in people. Educate your workers and give them opportunities to grow,” he said at the maiden Fortyunder40 awards which came off last Friday at the Kempinski Hotel, Gold Coast City, Accra.
“Get the right people, then train them well so they succeed you while you are away. It is very important for you to continue your business. Do not think that without you the business will not be there. You can die today, but the business must continue.”
Mr. Awal urged the young business leaders to persevere in everything they do, constantly innovate and add value to their products and services, pursue business ethics, honesty, stay prayerful and be healthy – always while taking advantage of opportunities being created by government for businesses to thrive.
“This is what we want to have in Ghana: young people determined to ensure that they succeed in running their businesses. This is all that governance is about: creating the condition for young people to make money.
“Government since January has tried to lay down the foundations for accelerated economic transformation, and we have done that in so many ways. There is uninterrupted power supply, introduced free SHS, abolished nuisance taxes, introduced a digital address system, and operations at the port going paperless. There is also the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP).
“I want to urge young people to take advantage of these opportunities to create more businesses and expand the economy. Do not be content. Contentment is deceitful. Learning has no end, so learn and add value to what you do,” he noted.
The Fortyunder40 awards seeks to identify, honour and celebrate a cross-section of the nation’s most influential and accomplished young business leaders under the age of forty from a wide range of industries: those who are committed to business growth, professional excellence and community service.
The night saw Nii Kotei Dzani, President of Groupe Ideal – a conglomerate of businesses, win the top award known as the ‘First Among Equals’. Mr. Dzani also won the Investment category, while forty other young achievers were rewarded for their hard work, dedication and excellence in business.
In an interview with the B&FT, Mr. Dzani noted that at Groupe Ideal the ethos is to work hard and constantly be innovative while promoting good business practices, and awards such as this tend to serve as energy drinks for him and his team to do more.
“We are not working to win laurels, but to improve lives and transform society. We make sure that every day we improve on our products and services, and so it always encourages us. Personally, these awards humble me,” he said.
Other award winners
Kwabena Boateng, Plantation Resources Limited won Agriculture & Agro-Processing; Nana Akua Oppong Birmeh, Arch Xenus, won Architecture, Design & Décor; Ruby Goka won Authorship & Creative Writing; Dr. Kwabena Duffuor II, uniBank, won Banking & Finance; Rebecca Donkor, MakeUp Ghana, won Beauty & Lifestyle; Asabea Adjare Agbenu, Windrow Consult, won Consultancy & Professional Services; Rudolph Amo-Asare, Eno Afansor Company, won Construction; Lisa Donkoh, Omega Schools, won Education; and Prosper Amuquandoh, Smart and Green Energy Group, won Energy.
Richard Adjei, Kasapreko Company, won Family Business; Oheneba Yaw Boamah, Abrantie The Gentleman, won Fashion; Maud Lindsey Gamrat, Atlantic Catering and Logistics, won Food, Catering & Beverages; Kosi Yankey, National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), won Government & Government Agencies; Laud Anthony Basing, INCAS Group, won Health & Wellness; Akua Antwiwaa Agyei, Signature Resort, won Hospitality; Elsie Appau, Acreaty Ghana, won Human Resource & Development; Sylvanus Bedzrah, Mini-Star Series Publication, won Printing, Press & Publishing; and Siita Hissan, North Television, won Journalism (Radio, TV & Newspaper).
Zoe Philips Takyi-Appiah, JLD & MB Legal Consultancy, won Law; Yaw Opare Asamoah, Dannex, Aryton, Starwin, won Manufacturing; Roger Agana, News Ghana, won Media (Digital & Social); Dr. Kofi Amoa-Abban, Rigworld International Services, won Oil & Gas; Dr. Edem Bart Williams, ESA Pensions Trust, won Pensions; Prince William Oduro, African Rights Initiative International, won Philanthropy & Non-Profit; Bright Owusu-Amofah, Appolonia City, won Real Estate; Paul Eddy Quartey, Edern Security Services, won Safety & Security; and Gabriel Kojo Appiah, BTL Africa, won Sales & Marketing, Advertising & Communications.
Kingsley Kwaku Pinkrah, Community and Entrepreneurial Development Initiative, won Social Enterprise; Yaw Amponsah, Phar Rangers, FC won Sports; Nicholas Bortey, Liranz Limited, won Technology& Innovation; Nii Commey, Laugh for Lives Africa, won Theatre & Arts; Abubakar Ali, Number One Technology and Driving Academy, won Transport & Automotive; Joseph Asameni Obiri, Lionize Tourism Consult, won Travel & Tourism; Daniel Osafo, CAPP Ltd., won Telecom & Mobile; Clarence Amoatey, Touchpoint Magna Carter, won Event Management & Planning; and Isaac Amoako-Mensah, Classic Amodel, won Shipping & Maritime.
For the honorary awards, Abena Boakyewaa Brigidi, Nimed Capital, won Female Personality of the Year; Alhaji Salamu Amadu, Afro-Arab Microfinance won Microfinance; Kofi Hagan, L’aine Services, won Excellence in Brand Development; Latif Abubakar, Globe Productions, won Outstanding Contributions to Theatre Development; Philip Oti-Mensah, OmniBank CEO, won Male Personality of the Year; and Anita Erskine won for her Outstanding Contributions to Women Empowerment.