GEPA builds capacity of SMEs in Takoradi

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The Ghana Export Promotion Authourity (GEPA), under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, has organised an Export School in Takoradi to build the capacity of small and medium enterprises (SMES) in the Western Region on export.

The Export School is one of the strategies adopted by GEPA to shape and expand the required manpower for the export industry, and sharpen the skills of the SMEs to be able to take their business to the next level.

Also, it is to build the capacity of exporters in the various stages to enable them compete favourably at the international market.

Albert Kassim Diwura, Deputy Executive Officer of GEPA, in an interview with the B&FT explained that the five-day training is to sharpen the skills of the SMEs to enable them have the basics in book-keeping, access to financing, legal contract, product certification, market hub, brand their products so they can be marketable, among others.

“So, we have about 15 courses put together on how to use social media to market themselves, compete with other nations for internationals trade shows, among others; and at the end of the five day-training, the SMEs will be able to collaborate among themselves,” he said.

He advised the participants who are venturing into export to understand the rules and regulations at the external markets.

Augustina Serwaa Danquah, Head of Training at GEPA, urged the SMEs to be abreast with technology, as well asunderstand, study and learn about the culture of where a product will be sent to according to specifications.

“Ask the customer what he/she wants; the message on the product should be short; and be punctual in your delivery,” she said.

“You need to get a local market for your product before you think of exporting. If you are asked to send about 100 pieces of your product right now, will it be readily available? Be ready at any time,” she advised.

She mentioned that GEPA is training graduates who are into agri- business and handicrafts, and encouraged the youth to venture into these areas.

Madam Ursula Tawiah, Western and Western North Regions Zonal Officer of GEPA, explained that National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) provides a clear vision of the desired evolution of Ghana’s Non-Traditional Export sector 10 years from now, and a roadmap for attaining the vision; hence, the need for the Export School.

She spoke on the ‘Introduction of Marketing Hub’, and stated that in export, every packaged product should be in order. She further encouraged businesses to research properly before the product is branded.

“Do a lot of research to build your business. If you do not register with GEPA, you cannot export your product. You need proper documentation before you can export your product,” she advised.

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