Ms Kosi Yankey, the Executive Director of the NBSSI, said the training was to instil in MSME managers the managerial skills to properly run their businesses and to enable them create employment opportunities for the youth.
Ms Yankey was speaking at a day’s forum to mark this year’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) in Accra, which is part of the Global Entrepreneurs Week (GEW) celebrates innovators and job creators that drive economic growth to transform communities worldwide.
The forum organised by the NBSSI served as a unique platform for a group of 15 women who are change-makers and creators to engage in powerful and empowering discussions around the challenges women face while doing business in Ghana.
The discussions also examined issues faced by the agro-processing, finance, technology, apparel manufacturing, and the extractive industry and tourism sectors with the aim of catalyzing ideas into action.
These daring conversations represent the first of a series of events being planned by NBSSI, to drive the socio-economic development of women entrepreneurs in the country, she said.
Ms Yankey said 4,500 of the MSMEs were trained with the support of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in business management, budget planning, and value chain analysis.
She said in a bid to further support SMEs operators in the country, the NBSSI in partnership with the Strategies to Promote Innovative Networks (SPINnet) recently launched an incubator for the garment and textile sector at the Accra Technical Training Centre (ATTC) to groom, mentor and accelerate entrepreneurs and small-scale businesses in that sector.
The incubator, which is supposed to have a broad focus looking at the various sectors, would be replicated in all the 10 regional capitals.
“In fact, there are a lot of youth in the sector and see how the centre could train better finishing of designers and the work they do and also promote the garments and textiles sector.
So, it has been launched and we are going through the process of fine-tuning it and getting the entrepreneurs who will be placed in these centres to support them. That is the incubator for the start-ups”, Ms Yankey said.
On the accelerator programme, she said in partnership with JICA, NBSSI has launched the Kaizen business acceleration programme, which seeks to work with 100 businesses to increase productivity, and ensure they have the right tools so the businesses will grow and accelerate.
“So, we are looking at two things. The start-ups segment, we are looking at those that have started and need to be accelerated and move forward. So at NBSSI that is the main focus of the work that we are doing,” she said.
Touching on the challenges of SMEs, Ms Yankey said the major challenges to SMEs operating in the country are access to information and finance.
She said the NBSSI was working with some financial institutions to ensure that businesses that they were working with have access to finance.
Nicolas Gebara, Fund Manager of Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund, a programme set up to strengthen the advocacy capacity of private sector business groups and associations in Ghana, urged the SME operators to embrace social media and the internet to enable them promote their products and services at a low cost.
The Director of Women Entrepreneurship Development Department of NBSSI, Madam Habiba Sumani said NBSSI would host the first Ghana Women Entrepreneurship Summit (GWES), in the first half of 2018.
She said the event would bring together key innovators and stakeholders from the public/private sectors and the international community, to find effective ways to resolve challenges and systemic constraints that prevent women’s full and equal participation, in Ghana’s economy.