Invest in Africa 2nd SME Excellence Awards slated for Friday

Invest in Africa (IIA) will on Friday 25th January 2019 celebrate and honour ten Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) which have excelled in their various sectors of operations.

The event, which is under the theme ‘Supporting SMEs – Key to Accelerating Inclusive Growth and Prosperity’, will have the Managing Director of Tullow Oil Ghana, Mr. Kweku Awotwi, as the Special Guest Speaker.

The SME Excellence Awards is a platform that showcases and celebrates the achievements of successful businesses and individuals in entrepreneurial excellence who have experienced IIA’s three-pronged model: access to skills, access to markets, and access to finance.

The ten awards up for grabs are: Woman Entrepreneur, Young Entrepreneur, Sustainable Business of the Year, Business Transformation and Business Linkage awards. The rest are Business Technology Growth, Business Innovation of the Year, Mentorship Recognition, Scale-up Business of the Year, and the IIA Star Award for Excellence.

Three new categories have been added to this year’s awards. Commenting on this, Country Director of IIA Ghana, Clarence Nartey said: “We have added the Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Mentorship Recognition and Business Technology Growth awards to ensure that we cover a broader scope of achievements that should be rewarded”.

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He further stated that the awards-scheme is largely aimed at encouraging SMEs to grow beyond their current capacity through IIA’s core training and mentorship initiative – the Business Linkage Programme (BLP).

“Our aim is to honour indigenous businesses which, through our skills development programme, have demonstrated innovative potential and developed capacity to participate in supply chains of larger organisations in Ghana and across the world,” he said.

The BLP is funded by the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) SME division, known as the Fund for Africa Private Sector Assistance (FAPA).

Two award-winners at the maiden edition held in January 2018 shared their experience on how winning the award impacted their business.

Miss Ayisha Fuseini of Asheba Enterprise, winner of two awards – Best Female Entrepreneur and Business Innovation of the Year said: “Winning these awards was a great recognition for my company at the time. It helped build the trust of my customers in New York and my partner in Spain. It also offered me opportunities to secure additional contracts”.

The winner of the Best Transformation award last year, Mr. Emmanuel Abbey of AB Engineering said: “It has built the trust of existing clients, attracted new ones with huge portfolios, and accessing competitive financial support has become easier for me”.

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The event will be attended by captains of industry and IIA’s partners – Tullow Oil Ghana, EY, AB & David Africa, MODEC Production Services Ghana JV, Ecobank Ghana, GCB, Barclays Ghana, MTN Business, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).

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