Graphic Business News

Green businesses need an industrial park to accelerate -Mr Chikodi Onyemerela

By: Emmanuel Bruce
Ms Ruka Sanusi - Executive Director of GCIC

The Director, Programs and Partnerships at the British Council, Mr Chikodi Onyemerela is advocating for an industrial park that will house all green businesses in the country.

Currently, he said a lot of institutions such as the Ghana Climate Innovation Centre (GCIC), the British Council, SNV, the Dutch Embassy among others were all training and incubating green enterprises in the country but the problem now was a rallying point where these trained businesses would converge and accelerate.

He said an industrial park which is fitted with reliable water, electricity and internet access would therefore help these trained entrepreneurs to converge and accelerate their businesses.

Mr Onyemerela, was speaking at a forum which was organized by the GCIC in Accra. The forum was on the theme ‘state of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“British Council is training and incubating, SNV, Dutch Embassy, GCIC and others are also training and incubating but we need a rallying point where all the trained businesses will converge.

“We need an industrial park where all these businesses that have been trained and incubated will go and fledge. In that place, the support structure must continue, either by the government or NGOs,” he stated.

Conscious of green businesses
Mr Onyemerela, also called for the need to be more conscious of green businesses.

“If we module green businesses within the ambit of entrepreneurship without being conscious of separating them, we may not make good progress in this sector,” he noted.

He said the conscious effort would require the development of content and a curriculum that supports green businesses.

“We must also ease the process of registration of green businesses. Green businesses have an additional layer of responsibility which is the environment and there must be a consideration for that,” he stated.

Contribution of ecosystem to job creation
The Director for the National Entrepreneurs Innovation Plan (NEIP), Mr Frankline Owusu-Karikari, also speaking at the forum pointed out that the government had put in place measures to support the growth of green businesses as a way of creating more jobs.

He said the government was had already enacted and implementing the Entrepreneurship policy and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Policy together with other stakeholders including National Board for Small Scale Industry (NBSSI) to streamline the entrepreneurs’ ecosystem space and give it the needed support to thrive.

Over the years, he said NEIP had been giving small grants to startups and that through a new World Bank support, entrepreneurs could access a minimum of US$20,000.00 to scale-up their innovations and create more jobs.

The Owusu-Karikari also noted that the government was working with the Ghana Revenue Authority, and had started a three to five years’ tax break to startup with unique innovations from the ages of 18 to 35.

He said the sectors who qualified for this policy included; manufacturing, information communication technology, agro-processing, medicinal plant, horticulture, and tourism and arts.

So much innovation
The Executive Director of GCIC, Ms Ruka Sanusi, in her welcome address, said the country’s entrepreneur ecosystem had so much innovation that needed to be supported to accelerate and commercialised to ensure socio-economic growth.

“I see an ecosystem in Ghana which is yet to truly rise up to the calling of making make the private sector the engine of growth. This is because they are the innovators who designed for instance the traffic light that direct humans and therefore need to be supported to continue to innovate,” she stated.