Hundreds of youth entrepreneurs in Wa have received entrepreneurship training aimed at building their capacities to develop and submit workable business plans for the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) programme competition.
Under the NEIP initiative of the Business Development Ministry, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) will be assisted based on a four tier SME Support Ecosystem.
These include Advisory Services, Access to Finance – seed capital, loans and equity -, and Access to Market and Policy – providing a conducive SME Ecosystem.
Business Development Minister, Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, in a speech read on his behalf by the Programmes Manager, Mr. Yakubu Yussif, said the SME sector plays a major role in all developing economies.
Quoting a 2015 World Bank report, Mr Awal said the report indicates that the formal SME sector alone contributed over 60 percent of the total employment and up to 40 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in emerging economies, particularly in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The report also states that many formal jobs in emerging markets were generated by the SME sector alone, constituting a larger part of the labour force compared to the micro and larger blue-chip enterprises, he said.
Despite the immense contribution of the sector to national development, Mr Awal said, many SMEs still faced numerous challenges including access to capital.
He said it was based on this that government launched NEIP, noting that the focus would be on both existing and non-existing businesses and traditional and Innovation Driven Enterprises.
NEIP, together with its Private Sector Implementation Partner (PSIP): African SME Organisation through the Ministry have been charged with the mandate to develop sustainable new businesses across Ghana to address barriers of growth faced by existing SMEs with the provision of business and financial support through the NEIP Business Plan Competition.
“It is very necessary that budding entrepreneurs like you, existing and non-existing businesses, both traditional and Innovation Driven Enterprises receive adequate training to equip you with the required tools to be able to compete with world standards,” Mr. Awal said.
He explained that after the training sessions, a selection process would be conducted to identify entrepreneurs who emerge as the crème de la crème of all applicants for funding support.
Mr. Awal admonished all applicants for the initiative to take advantage of the training and utilize all tools, knowledge and services available to expand their businesses to meet world standards and increase the employment rates in the country.
“I look forward to a time where businesses in Ghana will channel their resources into solving economic issues instead of struggling with challenges of funding and capital,” he said.
Story: Kwamena Ananse