UNDP empowers 200 Ghanaian MSMEs on AfCFTA  

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has trained 200 young Ghanaian entrepreneurs to enable them to tap into opportunities offered by Africa’s flagship free trade market agreement.

The entrepreneurs operating Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) received training to leverage digital technologies to transform their businesses and access the market that would connect 1.3 billion people across 55 countries.

The UNDP Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation Boot camp saw the participants educated in 18 thematic business modules through a partnership with the Thunderbird School of Global Management (Arizona, United States of America).

The modules included organisational readiness for scaling and expansion; accountability, transparency, ethics in business, financial analysis and management, and funding and access to capital.

Other areas of training were the use of social media effectively for business; redefining diversity, equity, and inclusion for business success; public-private partnerships for business and creating customer allegiance through marketing.

Dr Angela Lusigi, Resident Representative, UNDP Ghana, said at the graduation of the beneficiaries in Accra that the initiative to build Ghanaian enterprises as global entrepreneurs was borne out of the challenges they mostly faced.

It included the lack of access to skills and knowledge to manage, grow and sustain as well as constrained access to financing, networks, and mentorship to propel them into the global market.

Dr Lusigi said: “MSMEs like yours make up the majority of all enterprises in Ghana. Your business and innovative ideas are essential to Ghana’s development. I urge you to make the most of Ghana and Africa’s enormous untapped market and resources through the AfCFTA.”

“We invite you to continue to engage with UNDP as we work across Ghana to help connect emerging businesses to real-time information and opportunities through our digital SME gateway in partnership with GEA, Ministry of Trade and MMDAs.” The UNDP Ghana Rep told the beneficiaries.

Aside from the training, Dr Lusigi said UNDP was working with entrepreneurs to use the skills and knowledge gained “to come up with new solutions to the old economic, environmental and social challenges.”

Mr Philip Thigo, Senior Director of Africa, Thunderbird School of Global Management, urged the beneficiaries of the programme not to be limited in their entrepreneurial exploits, saying: “you’re only limited by yourself.”

Sharing her experience with the programme, Ms Gertrude Akosua Gyamfua Awumee of Trudie Arts and Crafts and a beneficiary of the scholarship scheme described the training as “life-changing.”

She told the Ghana News Agency that: “Prior to this training, I didn’t even know what business management was all about and I’ve been doing this (work) for five years. This course has changed my life and the dynamics of my business.”

From the training, Ms Awumee said she could now properly do bookkeeping, client and business management, noting that it was “a great opportunity to be able to nurture our dreams and creative minds into value-added ones.”

For his part, Daniel Sedohia, also a beneficiary, said he had enriched his experience in entrepreneurship, client, and customer management, and would be able to grow his business sustainably and create employment for others.

Source: GNA

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