Ten wholly Ghanaian-owned Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been selected and enrolled as the first cohort of enterprises to benefit from the ACET Business Transform programme in order to thrive on the global market.
The African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) Business Transform (ABT) programme is a flagship project of ACET’s burgeoning private sector-led development programme, which responds to challenges of local content in the SMEs ecosystem.
ACET’s Executive Vice President, Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi – explaining the concept of the ABT programme at the official unveilling in Accra, said the ABT initiative will help early to growth-stage SMEs move to the next level; first to investment readiness, then to integration into the competitive global value chain.
“The ABT is here to support SMEs’ transformation; so they grow, build their companies, employ more people and tap into regional and global value chains,” she said.
ACET, having worked with government in the past ten years to build the business environment, said a lot more has to be done to ensure SMEs get direct support. “This pilot phase is to really focus on a small group of SMEs and do the analysis to understand where in their businesses they need to grow and have access to mentors and coaches, and to the kind of business services which can help them grow,” Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi noted.
The ABT project, according to ACET, will be replicated across other countries on the continent, based on lessons learnt and the successes achieved in Ghana.
Trade and Industry Minister Alan Kyerematen underscored the need for private sector institutions to champion growth of the SMEs sector, with the enabling environment created by government.
He said government believes that support to the private sector is the foundation for facilitating the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda; that’s why it seeks to initiate actions which accelerate competitive import substitution and export expansion in light manufacturing through sector-specific support for greater results and financial sustainability. “It is against this background that we find the initiative of the ACET ABT programme – led by its private sector development programme – very timely, laudable and consistent with the key focus of the Ghana CARES programme.”
Criteria for selection
The ten SMEs have been carefully enrolled through a market assessment by ACET with sectors which have opportunities for growth and development, employment and linkage to regional and global value chains – not only doing business in Ghana, but having the potential to thrive on the global market.
Based on these, the SMEs were considered from sectors including manufacturing, agriculture and agribusiness, sustainable energy among others. A competition was held and applications were received; the ten were then selected based on the sustainability of projects they intended to execute.
The 10 SMEs are Big Bond Roofing Systems, Groital Company, Homefoods Processing and Cannery, Maxim Cosmetics, Melach Coconut Processing, Nelplast Eco Ghana, Saliscom, SKY-3 Investments, Skylink Agro Solutions and Solar Taxi.