Government urged to set up fund for SMEs

A woman holds 03 July 2007 in Accra a wad new currency, the new cedi, that Ghana put in circulation that day, although the old money will still be valid until the end of the year. Currently, the cedi is one of the least valued currencies in Africa: 9000 cedis equal one US dollar. Ernest Addison, head of research at the Bank of Ghana, assured in November 2006 that the changeover was not a revaluation nor devaluation, and will not affect foreign exchange. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)

The acting Country Director of Technoserve, Mr Samuel Baba Adongo, has appealed to the government to establish a fund that would serve as a backbone to enhance the development of the small and medium-scale enterprise (SME) sector.

It will support the youth financially to begin their own businesses in order to reduce unemployment in the country.

He said this was necessary in view of the fact that the SME sector contributed significantly to the growth of many developing countries, including Ghana.

“In Ghana, the SME sector provides 85 per cent of manufacturing jobs and contributes 49 per cent to overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” the programme director added.

Mr Adongo said this when Enhancing Growth in New Enterprises (ENGINE), inducted 108 entrepreneurs into its alumni network under the ENGINE Scale Up IV programme at a ceremony in Accra.

This means the new crop of entrepreneurs have joined a growing network of about 268 ENGINE alumni who are already benefiting from essential capital and business development services that drive their businesses.

The inductees were divided into three, with the first group receiving £6,000 as seed capital with aftercare involving a mix of Business Development Services (BDS) for 12 months. The winners of the second category received seed capital of £3,000 with aftercare package while the third category winners were awarded with an aftercare package

Mr Adongo said despite this revelation, research identified low degrees of innovation and access to finance as key obstacles to the growth and expansion of the sector in Ghana.

Entrepreneurial support

The President of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Mr James Asare-Adjei, in his address, lauded ENGINE for the financial support and the training it was providing to entrepreneurs in the country.

He noted that the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector was key in the production of goods and services and employment creation in the country.

“As an entrepreneur, you must have a vision and stick to that vision, since this will help you to identify opportunities and the problems around in order to make money,” he said.

He opined that typically, entrepreneurs constantly seek opportunities in their environment and go to the extent of creating a need and providing a solution in the form of a business.

In a bid to ensure companies become more efficient, the president urged small and medium enterprises in the country to merge.

“It is important for an individual to own 10 per cent of a multimillion company than to be the sole owner of a GH¢1 million company,” he indicated.

Sector contribution

The acting Country Director of Technoserve, Mr Samuel Baba Adongo, noted that ENGINE was committed to supporting more than 1,000 small and medium enterprises to overcome barriers to growth and build competitive businesses in the country.

“It is doing this by training, mentoring and assisting entrepreneurs to commercialise new and innovative products and services and link them to the finance they need to invest and grow, and the markets they need to sell,” he said.

According to him, all the 1,000 selected businesses would receive some support and training, but the most promising 500 will receive intensive business development support, and the 100 business judged to have the greatest potential will also receive cash grants.


Source: GraphicOnline