THE Country Manager of the African Development Bank, Dr Yero Baldeh, has urged the government to prioritise some key areas that will enable local and upcoming entrepreneurs to expand their businesses.
He said some of the key areas included the enhancement of access to finance; reinforcing business support, provision of support for entrepreneurship development and the promotion of an enabling environment would help entrepreneurs to compete favourably in the country.
Dr Baideh was speaking at the maiden Invest in Africa (IIA) SME Excellence Awards in Accra.
He said it was necessary for the government to put in place measures that would empower small and medium enterprises (SME) to find new innovative ways of resolving challenges that confront them.
“This will also enable them to seize opportunities presented by regional and international markets,” he stated.
Building local businesses
The Country Manager of Invest in Africa (IIA), Mr Clarence Nartey, in his welcome address challenged SME’s to build local businesses for global markets.
He said the IIA was prepared to invest heavily in the capacity building of SMEs in the country.
He pointed out that there were already ongoing partnerships with government, through the Ministry of Business Development to grow about 20 indigenous companies into multinationals capable of competing globally within the next four years.
“The aim of IIA Ghana is to coordinate private sector efforts to build local content and develop the needed capacity and skills for sustained growth and jobs creation,” he noted.
“We have now grown to become a relevant local content player with a vibrant home-grown business ecosystem,” he added.
Emboldening private sector
A Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Carlos Ahenkorah, for his part, reiterated government’s resolve to embolden the private sector in fulfilment of its industrialisation agenda.
He said efforts were being made by the government to link young entrepreneurs to the relevant business market through the establishment of incubators across all university campuses in the country.
Right Consults, an electronic security firm won the ultimate award – the Star Award of the Year.
Other winners were Stredstar Engineering and Construction LTD, Joissam Ghana Ltd, and AB Engineering which won Sustainable Business of the Year, Scale-up Business of the Year, and the Business Transformation Award, respectively.
The rest are Asheba Africa, which won the Business Innovation Award and Female Entrepreneur Award, Sustainable Agro LTD for the Business Linkage Award and Agri Access Ghana LTD for Award Merit Award.
About IIA SME Excellence awards
The Invest in Africa (IIA) SME Excellence Awards have been developed to honour local businesses which, through the ongoing flagship business linkage and skills development programme of the IIA, have put up enviable potential to scale up and participate in supply chains of larger organisations both in Ghana and abroad.