The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry in charge of Trade, Hon. Carlos Ahenkorah has stated that Government’s coordinated programme for economic and social development policies is focusing on supporting Ghanaian SMEs, particularly those owned by women and the youth to enhance their capacity to create more jobs of better quality within the Ghanaian economy. 

He pointed out that this vision is manifested in the government’s desire to convert all the Business Advisory Centres under the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) into Business Resource Centres (BACs) to support local entrepreneurs, particularly those in the rural areas, to enhance their managerial and technical capacities. 

Hon. Ahenkorah made the statement at the NBSSI’s official launch of the 2018 Ghana Women Entrepreneurship Summit (GWES-2018) held in Accra on 27th February 2018.

While declaring GWES-2018 officially launched, Hon. Ahenkorah further explained that Government’s Industrial Subcontracting Partnership Exchange Programme is strategically aimed at linking large scale industries with SMEs to ensure that small scale enterprises develop the capacity to feed large scale industries under the government’s One-District, One Factory Programme.

In his address, Dr. Eugene Owusu, Special Advisor to the President on SDGs, who was chairman of the occasion, emphasized that investment in women yields significant benefits to the economy and the society at large, and therefore there is the need to provide women entrepreneurs with the right set of skills training, access to finance, business advisory services and connection to sources of innovation, which is the new currency of development. 

“History has proven that investments made in women and girls are great multipliers of development; and we also do know that when women take control of their destinies and run successful businesses, their children, families and communities benefit in many ways”, Dr. Owusu remarked.  

The Executive Director of NBSSI, Ms. Kosi Yankey emphasized that, far from being another talk shop, the upcoming GWES 2018 event scheduled for 4-5 June, 2018 is aimed at moving from voices to action, in terms of fashioning out strategies to move micro enterprises to small enterprises, and growing small enterprises into medium enterprises. 

Ms. Yankey highlighted some of the numerous achievements of NBSSI, which includes building the technical and managerial capacities of numerous SMEs in Ghana, and dialoguing with local government authorities to create a conducive business environment for SMEs operating within their jurisdictions.  

The National Director of Rural Enterprises Programme, Mr. Kwasi Attah-Antwi, lauded the introduction of the Ghana Women Entrepreneurship summit, and urged policy makers to continue encouraging and supporting women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, as women have demonstrated the potential to be successful entrepreneurs.

Mr. Attah-Antwi pointed out that, “from 1995 till date, approximately 65% of the beneficiaries of the Rural Enterprises Programme (REP) have been women. The experiences of REP so far confirm that women are formidable entrepreneurs with tremendous stories in terms of their responses to the investment made on them by the REP programme. REP experiences have also shown that women are better at loans or credit management and repayment. Women in general, more than men, use their self-employment incomes for improving the living conditions of their households”. 

In his remarks, the BUSAC Fund Manager, Mr. Nicolas J. Gebara stated that the BUSAC Fund recognizes the significant contributions of women to the growth and development of the Ghanaian economy, and that the Fund focuses on supporting public-private sector dialogue aimed at creating a conducive business environment for SMEs, including women enterprises. He further pointed out that over the years, the BUSAC Fund has supported the advocacy initiatives of many business associations actively led by women entrepreneurs who are innovative, persevering, result-oriented and dynamic.

In her presentation to participants at the launch, the Director of Women Entrepreneurship Development Department of NBSSI, Madam Habiba Sumani explained that the upcoming GWES-2018 event would bring together key innovators and stakeholders from the public and private sectors and the international community, to find effective ways to resolve challenges and systemic constraints that prevent women’s full and equal participation in Ghana’s economy.

She pointed out the upcoming summit will be preceded by round table sessions at various locations that will focus on priority issues negatively impacting women businesses in target sectors, targets of opportunities to strengthen women businesses and outlining of actions for the summit. 

More photos of the launch can be accessed by clicking on the link below: