Madam Peace Abla Gavor is a member of the Cape Coast Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCRCCI). She is excited her smoked and powdered fish business is blossoming after participating in a Business Development Services (BDS) training sponsored by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund.
The transformation in business came after Madam Peace and members of CCRCCI received training on Value Chain Management for Effective Business Development and Customer Satisfaction in 2018. The BUSAC Fund BDS facility equipped the entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to manage their enterprises. A consultant hired by the Fund introduced members of CCRCCI to modules such as Business Principles and Processes, Value Chain, and Product Development Process.
“Before the training, I used to sell only at the market place, but now I have learned to brand and display my products for sale at trade fairs in Accra and other places”, said Peace. She used to sell an average of 30 pieces of fish products per month, but after participating in just two market fairs, she sold about 600 pieces of fish products in less than a month.
With demand for her products on the rise, she has increased her staff strength from six to 19 persons to meet the market demand during trade events. Six are permanent staff, while 13 are casual workers. Their core responsibility is to help in the processing of fish by cleaning, milling, weighing, packaging and labelling.
To discourage irregular, unreported and unregulated fishing and improve the sustainability of marine life, Madam Peace, who owns one of the biggest fish processors in Elmina, does not buy and process fish harvested crudely, as advised during the training.
Madam Peace is not the only person whose livelihood and business has improved. Others like Mr William Ward-Brew testified that the training on Effective Financial Management has been valuable to his business. “Now, I practice prudent financial management. I do not use my capital to buy personal stuff. This is helping me sustain my business,” he said.
Mr Anthony Pokoo-Aikins, Chairman of CCRCCI, believes the training has helped members to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to harness opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
SMEs have been the backbone of Ghana’s economic and social development for decades. They are the driving force for business development, employment creation, production of goods and services, and internal income generation in Ghana. According to the Registrar General’s Department, 90 per cent of registered businesses in Ghana are SMEs and estimated to contribute about 70 per cent of Ghana’s Growth Domestic Product as well as account for about 80 per cent of employment in Ghana.
BUSAC Fund’s BDS Facility
The Business Development Services (BDS) facility under BUSAC III helps Private Sector Organisations (PSOs), Farmer Based Organisations (FBOs) identify the capacity gaps, and skill needs of their members and address those needs with the assistance of certified BDS providers.
The PSOs, with the guidance of BDS providers, prepare training and coaching modules for their members. These modules address specific skill gaps to enable business entities to operate more efficiently and profitably.
With funding from Development Partners DANIDA and USAID, the BUSAC Fund’s BDS facility supports training on modules and topics within BUSAC Fund’s priority areas of Sustainable Agriculture, Trade, Cost of doing business, Green Growth and Human Rights-Based Approach.
About 167 business associations have been able to provide capacity-building services to their members through the Fund’s BDS facility.