Mr Frank Aboagye Danyansah, the Chief Executive Officer of Danywise Estate and Construction, has said fear and high risks are the main reasons small-scale businesses flop and undermine existing efforts to grow and boost job creation.
Businesses in the country are confronted with high risks, lack of access to capital and markets, high interest rates, insatiable taste for foreign products, unstable currency and failure of entrepreneurs to anticipate or react to competition, technology, or changes in the marketplace.
Speaking at the recent Entrepreneurship Clinic 2016 at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Mr Danyansah said fear and the inability of businessmen to take calculated risks were the principal bane of business shutdown.
The 2016 entrepreneurship clinic was organised by HFC Bank in partnership with the KNUST on two topics: “Identifying business opportunities and importance of networking in business.”
Mr Danyansah, who is award winning estate developer and property consultant to the Ghana-Finland Chamber of Commerce, said there were numerous sources of ideas that could come from existing businesses, such as franchises – one could license the right to provide a business idea or tap new ideas from an employer to start a business.
“Perhaps the most promising source of ideas for new business comes from customers, listening to customers, that is something we ought to do continuously, in order to understand what customers want, where they want it, how they want a product or service supplied, when they want it supplied and at what price,” he said.
“Clearly, when you see inefficiency in the market, and you have an idea of how to correct that inefficiency, and you have the resources and capability – or at least the ability to bring together the resources and capability needed to correct that inefficiency – that could be a very interesting business idea.”
“If you see a product or service that is being consumed in one market, that product is not available in your market, you could perhaps import that product or service, and start that business in your home country.”
“My experience, having visited places numerous times in Ghana is that people are hesitant to start new businesses, because they think they don’t have the characteristics of what would make for a successful entrepreneur, and also it’s too risky to be an entrepreneur.”
“Research that I have done, research that my colleagues around the world have done, have shown that there are no unique characteristics, or traits that distinguish entrepreneurs from non-entrepreneurs, and successful entrepreneurs from unsuccessful entrepreneurs,” he said.
It is important for young entrepreneurs to consider venturing into growing sectors or industries in the economy, he said, citing a situation where a lot of start-ups in the IT sector in India flourished because of huge demand in that industry and growth outpaced other industries.
He urged businesses and young entrepreneurs to capitalize on the sources of new business opportunities and resist fear, but take the necessary risk and adopt relevant skills to turn opportunities into successful ventures in order to cut down joblessness.
“It is no more risky to start your own business than working for conglomerates like Anglo Gold Ashanti whose sluggish production has forced massive cut of over 6,000 jobs,” he said.
“So, the perception that working for large companies is somehow safer, is not borne out by the reality, my message is, you have what it takes; it is time to get started,” he said.