Start-ups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will this year receive increased support from the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) through its chamber business clinics and mentorship programme.
The chamber business clinics, according to Mr Mark Badu-Aboagye, the Chief Executive Officer of the GNCCI, would serve as a hospital that would diagnose problems that start-ups face and prescribe the right antidote.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview, Mr Badu-Aboagye said start-ups and SMEs were very important to the Chamber with a majority of its membership being SMEs, thus the business clinic was geared towards helping them address the issues that they face including legal and book-keeping.
The Chamber would also run a mentoring programme where start-ups and small business would be matched with more matured businesses who would provide guidance and ‘hold their hands’ through their development.
“We will also engage government to ensure that it creates a good business environment for startups,” he said, noting that state institutions should be made to work to enhance service delivery such as business registration, fire safety certifications and TIN numbers.
“There is a perception that the Chamber is for big businesses but our support services are for start-ups and SMEs. The big businesses are there but majority, almost 85 per cent of our members are SMEs,” he said.
Mr Badu-Aboagye said the Chamber had been successful in its interventions in 2018, despite being a challenging year for businesses in Ghana, having recorded the highest number of foreign businesses and countries who requested Business-to-Business meetings with their Ghanaian counterparts than in previous years.
“…Which means that there is a renewed confidence in the economy of Ghana and a number of our members secured deals with some of these countries that came,” he said.
The Chamber’s capacity-building interventions in 2018 were also a very key achievement as the business community needed a lot of training on basic things such as book-keeping, financial management and corporate governance that were often overlooked.
“Some may have the financial support but if they don’t have these structures in place, they may end up misusing the finances,” Mr Badu-Aboagye said.
He explained that the GNCCI organised several training programmes in this regard including some on responsible financing, corporate governance and trade policies.