Transforming and supporting SMEs in the north


Starting any business in Africa is always a tough decision to make by entrepreneurs especially the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). However, those who muster courage to start one usually find the decision fulfilling albeit the challenges that comes with the journey.

A recent survey conducted by Vinmak Consult – a member of the Ghana Business Support Organisations Directory– seeks to identify some of the causes for the collapse and revenue shortfalls of some promising indigenous businesses after five years of operations in the northern regions of Ghana came up with some interesting outcomes.

The survey identified   a number of factors, among which included lack of management and financial discipline, but a more remote and critical factor identified was   the absence of relevant and credible information on market data, consumer demand and supply trends that SMEs can rely on to improve, sustain, support and grow their operations.

The search for a business program that engages the best minds to discuss and dissect relevant business policies and models that can transform and anchor businesses to scale up their operations, led to the birth of Business123 to provide that critical service missing in the SMEs space.

Business 123 is a well-thought business leadership program designed to engage start-ups, entrepreneurs, the business community and business advisory support services to push initiatives, programs and policies that advance the cause of SMEs in the region. The on-air business program is tailored to empower the youth in entrepreneurship whilst providing critical business support services for SMEs.

Business 123 has become a game changer, championing the success stories of SMEs on its platform. Radio they say, get results, a well-structured business program providing in-depth business interviews, market research analysis and an expert panel discussion on a wide range of issues from productivity, innovation, artificial intelligence, emotional intelligence, management, marketing, leadership, communication, financial management, government policies, trade, commerce, and technology have become the blue print shaping and guiding the operations of SMEs in the north. The wealth of knowledge and relevant information from the on-air business program has been rewarding for SMEs and the business community in the following ways:

The program has helped in shaping SMEs to develop a robust business model.

Business 123 has proven to be a successful on-air business program that has provided relevant content for SMEs to reinvent and adopt new business models that have transformed and shaped the performance of SMEs. Most SMEs have restructured their operational strategy to suit the changing trends and consumer demands on the market. Brands like Bdiet cereals have become sought-after products on the market. The priceless information the business program offers on a weekly basis has helped in positioning brands like Bdiet cereals, Wear Nation, Smock Hub on the market. These brands have seen a significant rise in sales and revenue for their products and services. Business 123 has triggered a renewed sense of energy and enthusiasm around the operational strategy of a lot of SMEs. This is a clear case of how business 123 is leading and setting the agenda to put SMEs in the region on the path of growth and development.

The program has become a reference point for SMEs and Start-Ups to acquire relevant business information and strategies.

Business 123 has become a virtual business library, where SMEs and Start–ups get current information on prevailing market trends, supply and demand analysis, consumer insights, they can adopt to build and scale up their operations. The businesses that will survive competition and remain relevant on the unpredictable market, are the ones with the right information on how to innovate and redesign their business models to compete on the current market.

The on-air business program makes credible and useful data readily available to businesses on weekly basis. New and existing SMEs have found these data useful in their operations. Most SMEs have become more consumer driven in all their marketing campaigns. The improved performance of SMEs, such as Savannah Fumigation Services, Queen GAF Enterprise, Tumalana Prestige among others, have largely hinged on the timely and useful formation made available to SMEs on the program, a factor that has become critical for the forward development of businesses in the 21st century.

The program has become a motivational platform for entrepreneurs and start –ups to launch new products and services.

Business 123 has become an important platform for emerging and existing businesses in the north to launch their new innovation, product and services. The timeless and relevant ideas that are shared on the show through an expert panel discussion on a wide range of technical and managerial issues have become instrumental in building the confidence of SMEs to pursue a growth strategy for their businesses through the launching of new innovations and product lines. The agricultural and financial sectors have been the biggest beneficial of this platform. The program has had a tremendous positive impact on the start-ups space.

More businesses continue to emerge on a daily basis with innovative ideas that is revolutionising the service sector. The on air business program has witnessed an increase in the delivery and laundry service business space. ORCH Delivery and THYWORD Laundry services are new businesses that were launched on the business 123 platform. The possibilities for new and existing businesses on the business 123 platform are endless for start-ups that willing to launch new innovations, product or service on the market.

Business 123 has become the game changer in advancing and championing the growth of SMEs in the Tech and Financial Hubs.

The program has become an ecosystem that engages relevant state and private technology and financial institutions to work towards creating sustainable and profitable SMEs within the technology and financial space.

Most technology and financial hubs have been given lifeline support to grow on the platform. HOPin Academy, Cowtribe, and the Tamale Cooperative Credit Union have launched new innovations within the tech and financial space for the benefit of SMEs in the region. The on air business program has been a leveller, providing a platform for various tech and financial hubs in the north to reach out and build the capacity of SMEs through various incubation programmes. The platform has widened the network base of these hubs in the region, resulting in support funding from international organisations advancing and advocating for social enterprises in the north.

For SMEs looking to improve their market shares or Entrepreneurs or Start-Ups struggling to put resources and ideas to build a business that creates opportunities for others or graduates preparing to enter into the corporate world, Business 123 remains the best platform to help you launch your business ideas in Northern Ghana.

The writer is a business consultant and managing partner at Universal Marketing Consultancy ltd. He has provided extensive business support services for private and public organisations in Ghana. He has over ten years’ experience working with start-ups and entrepreneurs in designing and implementing strategic marketing campaign and tools that projects and creates value for   products and services on the market. He is also a co-host of this business 123 show on 99.7FM. [email protected]

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