Government has since 2017 invested over GH¢2billion in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) space, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, has said.
She said the investment seeks to revive the country’s SME sector as part of plans to transform the economy from import and taxation to manufacturing, with over 300,000 businesses having benefitted – of which 60 percent were women-owned businesses. Some 3,195 jobs have also been created.
“That is a big success, especially when you look at the segment of small and medium enterprises; because if you look at the data and statistics, the majority of Ghanaian-owned businesses – mostly women-businesses – are micro,” Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh.
She spoke during a stakeholder engagement and orientation on the SME High Growth Programme, and noted that: “We have reached a stage in our life where we need to transform the economy, and the only way is to have industries and also help your businesses grow,” – urging the SMEs to take advantage of the investment.
Touching on the SME High Growth Programme, an initiative that seeks to provide the training and capacity-building necessary for SMEs’ operational efficiency, Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh said it will boost competitiveness and help SMEs scale-up their operations for further job creation amid government’s efforts to restore macroeconomic stability.
She said the initiative and its grant-support will also help about 2,000 SMEs become investment-ready, capable of attracting both local and foreign capital; increase sales; and more importantly, build their capacity to export and “culminate in job creation and job sustainability”.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh added that beneficiary SMEs will be given technical assistance by KPMG on business management capabilities, productivity-enhancing improvements and replication of soft skills acquired – leading to a generally improved business operating culture among Ghanaian SMEs and thereby enhancing competition and growth.
“The new SME High Growth Programme is designed to build on and consolidate the successes so far. And in this regard, we intend to provide SMEs with all relevant tools in business development, including the digital marketing tools necessary to enable them take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
“This makes the programme design very relevant to the vision of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for SMEs through the GEA – that is, to optimise their potential so as to enable them contribute meaningfully in growth and development of the national economy and poverty reduction,” Mrs. Yankey Ayeh said.
A grant support of US$20million has been earmarked for implementation of the programme, targetting high-growth SMEs in the following areas: agribusiness/agro-processing; construction; education; food and beverage; healthcare and/or pharmaceutical industries; information communication technology; manufacturing; textiles and garments, among others.
The initiative is expected to transition enterprises into the next stage of growth – thereby improving their ability to increase sales and exports.