The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has urged captains of industry to depart from the old ways of doing business to adopt bold and innovative new paths that will have a positive impact on the local economy.
He said the only way business leaders could be remembered was daring to take risk in unchartered waters and leaving a remarkable footprint.
"I urge you, as business leaders, to be courageous and undismayed in the face of odds. You should not allow any obstacle to deter you from your goals and you should fight to overcome all setbacks in your business dealings," he admonished.
Otumfuo said this in a speech read for him by the Adumhene, Baffour Agyei Kesse, at the Fifth Ashanti Business Leaders Excellence Awards Ceremony organised by Top Brass Ghana under the auspices of the Manhyia Palace to climax Otumfuo's 20th anniversary celebration since ascending to the Golden Stool.
It was on the theme: "Striving for excellence".
More than 50 top businesses and individuals in different categories were honoured at the gala dinner night in Kumasi.
The Asantehene said as part of the new era, it was important that captains of commerce and industry developed incentive packages which would promote co-operation among their workforce.
"As businessmen who are involved with your workers, as well as with machinery, customers and government bureaucracy, you must develop the same kind of team spirit which a successful cup-winning football team achieves in building a tremendous team effort," he said.
"The individual worker’s latent abilities should be brought out and harnessed. A specialised skill that is outstanding will often make a company stand out and dominate above all its competitors. That desire is what you, as business leaders, must inspire throughout your company," Otumfuo added.
He said workers ought to feel that they were rewarded in accordance with their respective contributions to the company’s success.
"I, therefore, urge you to create a workplace environment in which as entrepreneurs, you do not have to think that in your absence the business will collapse. This will enable you to regularly enjoy a well-deserved rest and to, as it were, recharge your batteries, as well as to refocus on your business vision," he said.
Otumfuo said research findings of the Business Barometer Survey organised by the Association of Ghana Industries continued to place access to credit and the cost of credit at the top of the challenges encountered by the business community in Ghana as a whole.
As a way of helping address the challenge, Asantehene appealed to financial institutions to introduce more innovative and business-supportive products and services to make access to credit cheaper and to enhance business development.
Business promotion programmes
The Minister of Business Development, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, said the government was in the process of implementing three business promotion programmes across the country, from which the Ashanti Region would have its fair share of benefits.
He said under the 'Training for Young Businessmen module', a trainer from Spain would offer business-oriented training to 400 trainees in the Ashanti Region alone.
Also, 300 young businessmen and women from the Ashanti Region will receive financial support under the 'Young Businesses Fund' while 100 beneficiaries from the Ashanti Region will be covered under a 'Fund to support physically challenged businessmen and women'.
The Director of Top Brass Ghana, Mr Isaac Dakwa, said hitherto, the award ceremony had been limited to businesses in the Ashanti Region but on the occasion of Otumfuo’s 20th anniversary, it was decided to recognise deserving business leaders located outside the Ashanti Region, but whose products and services had a positive impact on the region’s economic development.