Commonwealth Secretariat to strengthen business advisory services in Ghana

The Commonwealth Secretariat at the weekend called on African governments to roll-out incentives for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to formalize their businesses and become contributors to their respective economies as tax contributing entities.

“As the world economy continue to suffer more is therefore expected of African SMEs…Ghana therefore needs to take a hard look at SMEs to succeed,” Mr Roland Charles, Enterprise Development Adviser at the Commonwealth Secretariat stated in Accra at the end of a four week training of trainers programme on new product development and market access for SMEs in Accra.

He said as a result of new complexities its becoming increasingly difficult for SMEs to remain competitive therefore a new generation of Ghanaian SMEs are demanding more from business advisors.

“This is the area where skilled business advisors can be the difference between SME success and failure.

“The Commonwealth is aware there are no single solutions to solving the dilemma of SMEs in Africa in general and Ghana in particular, however governments must create conducive condition for SMEs to access finance and also improve upon the overall business environment,” he said.

In view of these developments the Secretariat, in collaboration with National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) have designed an innovative module which combine theoretical training and practical field work to build the capacity of the trainees to serve as SME advisors.

Mr Lukman Abdul-Rahim, NBSSI Executive Director, said through Government interventions, NBSSI has positioned itself adequately to transform the micro and small-scale enterprises from a subsistence orientation to a commercially attractive and dynamic sector capable of making a substantial contribution to the growth of the economy.

He said government through the board, had established a number of schemes to assist micro and small scale businesses to expand their activities.

Mr Abdul-Rahim said lack of technical and managerial skills, finance, marketing opportunities and poor quality and design of products were some of the problems facing the sector.

He lauded the collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat in building the capacity of Business Advisors of the Board.

He said the board was equipped to play its facilitating role to promote and develop the micro and small-scale sector, which was crucial to the attainment of the country’s socio-economic development.

The NBSSI Executive Director said, the training had equipped the participants with new knowledge and skills that would make them better entrepreneurs to ensure business growth.

Nana Tweneboah Boateng, Executive Director of EMPRETEC Ghana Foundation, reiterated the need to for governmental interventions to support the private sector for accelerated growth and development.

Nana Boateng who is the Sanaahene of Anyinam called for attitudinal change among SME operators, entrepreneurs and business community, saying “collectively lets change Ghana”.

The Commonwealth Secretariat funded programme will aid the development of small and medium sized businesses in Ghana.

Source: GNA

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