More than 150 Small and Medium Enterprises(SME’s) have benefitted from a capacity building seminar to guide them expand their businesses and adopt sustainable business modules.
The Maiden edition of the SME fair on the theme “enhancing SMEs’ access to markets for sustainable growth” sought to provide SMEs with the requisite tools in developing their business.
It was organised by the Graphic Communication in partnership with Access Bank PLCin Accra yesterday.
Speaking at the event, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Herbert Krapaunderscored the need for government and all stakeholders to adequately support and provide SMEs with the necessary attention needed for the growth of their business.
This, he explainedwasimperative as SMEs were major contributors to Ghana’s economic growth and development.
“SMEs make up 80 percent of businesses in the country and contribute to about 70 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product and their growth was mainly dependent on how we harness our resources, partnerships and opportunities to improve their competitiveness in the domestic and global markets,” he added.
He noted that as part of governments efforts to boost the capacity of SMEs, it had rolled out numerous programmes such as “the access to funds through the Ghana Entreprises Agency and Ghana Exim Bank; YouStart; provision of business development services through advisory and resources across the country; and skills development through the national entrepreneurship programme.”
He professed government’s further support for SMEs in the country saying that “the SME sector was of strategic interest to government due to its economic and social benefits.”
He commended the organisers for providing the SMEs in the country with the appropriate tools to develop their businesses and also the opportunity to exhibit their products to a larger market.
The Associate Professor of Finance at the University of Ghana Business School, Prof.GodfredBokpin said the government should strengthen the SME sector to take advantage of technology.
“We cannot remain solely at the SME level but we must be intentional in growing some of our SMEs to become regional and global giants,” he explained.
He added that businesses needed to invest in the growth of their online presence as clients were more interested in purchasing goods and services online hence, the need for SMEs to adapt accordingly.
He urged SMEs to take advantage of the African Free Continental Trade Area to strengthened their contribution to Ghana’s socioeconomic development by creating opportunities to scale up, innovate and enhance productivity and growth.
The Managing Director for Access Bank PLC, Mr Olumide Olatunji said SMEs
were bound to fail in their first year of operation hence the need to equip them with the needed tools for their survival in the market.
He underscored the need for SMEs to acquire digital skills to boost their businesses in order to upscale and reach global markets.
He urged SMEs to take advantage of the fair to network and take their business to the next level as Access Bank PLC was ready to provide the necessary support.
BY JESSEL LARTEY THERSON-COFIE & CHARLOTTE BARNS