The chairman of the McDan Group of Companies, Daniel McKorley, has promised to give every student in Northern Ghana three to five acres of land to plant soya beans.
The business mogul says the beneficiaries can also use the land to cultivate any other produce of their choice apart from soya.
According to him, the decision to give out the plots of land to students will give them an opportunity to cultivate one or two crops for the state. This, he noted, will go a long way towards boosting agriculture and promoting food sufficiency in Ghana.
McKorley’s decision was welcomed by all the paramount chiefs who attended the third edition of the #McDanYouthConnect series in Tamale under the theme “Impacting Youth Development with Entrepreneurship”. They have agreed, without exception, to release 100 acres of land each for the block farming project.
At the pitch series, which was held at the Tamale campus of the University of Development Studies (UDS), McKorley challenged students never to stop engaging people to ask about things they don’t know, trying new things, and discovering their potential for growth.
Keep a sense of proportion
According to McKorley, humility is a key that leads people to success. Hence, as students, they must learn to be humble, and associate with people who have made it in life. This will guide them along the right path to success, he said.
When the students asked him how he manages all his businesses and how he manages to stay fully aware of everything happening in them, he commended them for their questions and told them: “I’m hands-on about everything, so it wasn’t wrong to assume that I know everything. [But] I don’t know everything.”
He explained that regardless of one’s background and experience, it is simply not possible to know everything there is to know about a business, or even one’s own specialty.
“… by thinking you know everything and acting on that feeling, you’re likely to make more mistakes than you otherwise might. And the reason you don’t know everything isn’t that you’re not smart, or don’t have enough experience.
“It’s because the world and the realities of business are simply more complicated and rapidly shifting than anybody can keep up with,” he said.
McKorle noted that businesses generally hire smart people with the right attitude to work with and that even the most senior people at some of the largest companies employ consultants and advisors externally as well as relying on and listening to their staff.
He advised them not to worry if they have to defer to people who are smarter and/or more knowledgeable than they are.
Reuse and useful products
Meanwhile, at the end of the pitching session, Eco-Clean Ghana, an initiative by students on the Wa campus of the UDS, emerged the overall winner. Eco-Clean Ghana received GHC10,000 from the McDan Group by way of prize money.
Eco-Clean Ghana is a new organisation that seeks to recycle waste into useful products. It trains and empowers youth, farmers and women on how they can recycle and reuse both degradable and non-degradable materials into useful products that benefit the environment and the people around.
Speaking on behalf of the McDan Group, McKorley congratulated the winners and said he looked forward to the growth of their business to create jobs, provide livelihoods, change the narrative from a youth of “jobseekers” to “job creators”, making a genuine impact in their community.
He thanked the management of UDS-Tamale for hosting the entire #McDanYouthConnect team, saying: “The welcome, warm reception and hospitality you gave us are truly a unique trademark of your cultural values and a reflection of the kind-hearted people that you are!”
“I’m grateful for the opportunity and platform to share learning points from my journey to the next generation,” McKorley said.
“To the start-ups that pitched their amazing business ideas to our panel to win the GHC10,000 funding pot, you all did an amazing job articulating your enterprise ideas to our audience and judges. And you really blew the crowd away with your creativity and innovation.
“It’s safe to say that our future is in good hands.”