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Social Enterprises in Ghana impact 100,000 lives – Report

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independence-arch-ghanaA Research Report has shown a positive outlook for Social Enterprises in Ghana with the current support systems by government and other development partners, including the British Council.

The report launched on Wednesday showed that 98 Social Enterprises in Ghana currently employ 998 youths directly and is impacting 103,148 lives.

Speaking at the launch Liliana Biglou, Head of British Council Ghana, underscored the importance of Social Enterprises.

“Business have the power not for profit alone, but to bring social empowerment to societies,” she said, adding that the United Kingdom is keen to partner with Ghana’s enthusiasm for innovation, hence the need for socially relevant solutions.

According to the report, out of the 26,000 social enterprises operating in Ghana, 98 are currently employing more than 900 young people annually with an economic gain of more than GH₵ 8 million.

However, the report outlined some major setbacks affecting the rapid growth of social enterprises, including 71 per cent reporting access to financing, 47 per cent debt and equity, 32 per cent lack of understanding of social enterprise operational model, 26 per cent lack of technical skills and 32 per cent lack of advisory and other support services.

The report also highlighted 59 per cent reporting increase in sales and customers, 61 per cent expanding to new geographical areas and 59 per cent attracting new investments as some growth plans for the social enterprises ecosystem in Ghana.

Sydney Hushie, Head of British Council Ghana Social Enterprise programme disclosed that the British Council with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Social Enterprise Ghana were partnering to develop a social enterprise policy for Ghana which would streamline the operation of social enterprises.

Mr Hushie said the connection of social enterprises to the UK market was through the setup of a social enterprise network and support of the Social Enterprise Award with the Association of Ghana Industries.

“Typically, all business want wealth. Social enterprises want wealth too, but wealth for the many, not the few. Social enterprise is a good conduit to doing business ethically,” he said.

Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Minister of Trade and Industry, outlined the importance of social enterprises to create jobs, transfer technology and create new products and services hence government’s efforts at fostering an enabling environment for social enterprises to prosper.

Dr Spio-Garbrah said the government has a rural entrepreneurship programme currently running in 161 districts, as well as opportunities for funding made-in –Ghana technology through the GRATIS Foundation.

The British Council Ghana social enterprise programme focuses on providing young people with life changing opportunities by equipping them with skills for employment and entrepreneurship, English and Exams through strong partnership.

According to the report, the British Council globally, from 2011-2013 have partnered with more than 15, 390 governments, business and social leaders worldwide in the delivery of services.

It has reached more than 19.8 million people through events and programmes resulting in creating opportunities and connecting beneficiaries with learning creative ideas to build a mutually beneficial relationship between them and the UK.

The social enterprise programme aims at creating opportunities and improving lives by promoting social investment to help foster a more sustainable, inclusive and prosperous future as well as proving social entrepreneurs and enterprises with training, business consulting and mentoring, access to funding and investment opportunities, study tours and international networking.

Source: GNA

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