With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic still unfolding rapidly globally, the Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA), would work assiduously to protect the SME sector from collapse, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GEA, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, has said.
Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh said this during the closing ceremony of the Agency’s COVID-19 SME Innovation and Digitisation Support Scheme held in Accra last week.
“It is exciting for us at Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA)….to be given this opportunity to work closely with GIZ to provide the needed support to the MSMEs in this trying times globally,” Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh said.
Commenting on the importance of the scheme, the GEA CEO said the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy meant that Ghanaians SMEs needed to be innovatively proactive in order to remain sustainable.
The GEA in partnership with the GIZ and KFW trained about 500 Ghanaian MSMEs under the scheme which was sponsored by Invest for Jobs, Digital Transformation Center Ghana and Special Initiatives on Training and Job Creation.
She said the partnership between the GEA, GIZ and KFW to equip MSMEs in Ghana with the necessary digital knowhow aimed at navigating the torturous impact of COVID-19 was timely.
“It came at the time when the MSMEs were wondering how do we take advantage of this new normal? How do we start all over again? How do we sell our product using technology? How do we learn to strengthen our financials using technology? How do we strengthen and build relationship with our customers?
Fortunately, this intervention came in time to provide the needed support and believe to build your businesses. As my team would tell me, this is the most practical training we have ever had. It is a training that has directly impacted your businesses,” she said.
The scheme, according to Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh, had strengthened a lot of MSMEs across the country to withstand the global financial shock resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic by providing them access to e-commerce, software and tools that are building and strengthening their businesses, using zoom and other technology tools to be able to build their customer base.
She further stated that the partnership benefitted the GEA by helping it relook at the way it deals with MSMEs in the country, changing forever the type of intervention that the agency would bring to the sector going forward.
“We hope that we would continue to work together to build your businesses to the upscaling stage where you can create jobs and employments,” she said.
The GEA CEO said the implementation of the agency’s MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy which is to anchor a new age of entrepreneurship within the micro small and medium enterprise sector is progressing steadily
Second phase in the offing
Gerald Guskowski, Cluster Coordinator, Network for Inclusive Economic Development Cluster, GIZ Ghana, said the training would ensure that Ghanaian SMEs are competitive in the global SME sector.
He further noted that GIZ looks forward to organizing a second phase of the scheme, saying: “digitisation is extremely important during this trying times.”
The policy would also help stimulate the growth of MSMEs to produce world-class products and services capable of competing locally and internationally.