- but lack of finance, expertise et al threaten sustainability
Despite accounting for 85 percent of employment in the manufacturing sector, Micro-, Small- and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) continue to face a myriad of challenges, says the Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA).
The MSME space, it lamented, is constrained by lack of finance, access to appropriate technology, lack of technical and managerial skills, weak institutional capacity and limited access to international markets, as well as lacking laws and regulations. These challenges, GEA noted, continue to impede development of the sector and affect the quality and sustainability of jobs.
The sector is said to also contribute about 70 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and one would expect it would be given the much-needed support to become robust and continue contributing significantly to the country’s socioeconomic development.
However, that is not the case – according to Assistant Business Advisor-MSME at GEA, Samira Hussein, who said her outfit believes in the need for interagency collaboration, donor and national support initiatives to help position MSMEs for growth.
“To achieve rapid economic development, the MSME sector cannot be sidelined. Rather, it should be made robust to support economic growth and development. if our MSMEs become more robust, they will contribute more to job creation and poverty reduction, and this will enhance government revenue generation streams,” she said.
She made these comments on behalf of GEA’s Chief Executive Officer, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, during the launch of Africa Street MBA – an initiative by Done By US (DBU), a consultancy.
Africa Street MBA Programme Chairperson and founder of Done By US, King Adawu Wellington, explained the Africa Street MBA is an entrepreneurial platform that aims to provide integrated business support for start-ups and small businesses – through capacity building, mentorship, business development services and funding for young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas or early-stage ventures.
He emphasised that for the next three years, the programme will impart young people with world-class business knowledge based on top Master of Business Administration (MBA) curricula and entrepreneurial course content.
“Africa Street MBA has been designed to bridge the business-knowledge gap and help young people from poor backgrounds, and young people with low education, to also have an opportunity to build a world-class enterprise.
“This will reduce the start-up failure rate in Africa by providing platforms for entrepreneurs to access business education, technical and business advisory services, funding and markets. We believe in empowering the youth, through entrepreneurship, to be agents of change in reducing the unemployment rate of Africa and beyond,” he said.
Overall, the Africa Street MBA is expected to impact some 10,000 young people annually. It will be carried out using a fixed-term 12-week start-up accelerator, and a mentorship programme that includes mentorship and educational components based on the MBA curriculum.
The Chairperson added that the accelerator programme will end with a public pitch event that provides seed funding in the form of a grant for ultimate pitch winners, and potential investments for accelerated businesses.
The initiative is implemented in partnership with the KGL Foundation.