Lack of funding limiting SMEs’ ability to seize EU market


Due to lack of financial support and technical know-how, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are unable to meet large demands from the European Union (EU) market, according to the team leader at Compete Ghana Technical Assistance, Nicholas Gebara.

“It is quite challenging when a client from the EU makes a big order; most SMEs are not able to meet such demands since they produce in relatively small quantities,” he said.

He entreated SMEs to organise themselves and be well-structured to meet the EU’s market requirements, suggesting that more collaboration between government and the private sector is needed to help SMEs take advantage of export opportunities in the EU.

Mr. Gebara indicated that collaboration would help build capacity, encourage easy access to financial support and training for SME owners.

The team leader shared these concerns and suggestions with journalist at the Compete Ghana Programme’s closing ceremony.

The Compete Ghana Programme, funded by the EU through the Ghana-European Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA), built the capacity of 40 traders from large companies and SMEs. It also sought to encourage them to leverage benefits of the iEAP.

The programme was at two levels: institutional – building the capacity of public institutions to streamline the regulatory frameworks in relation to iEPA and guiding the private sector to meet requirements and benefits of the agreement; while the second level was working at the private sector level to promote benefits offered to them, and encourage local exporters to take advantage of export opportunities to the EU under the iEPA.

The iEAP agreement between Ghana and EU took off in 2016, and aims to create a more competitive trading relationship between the country and the EU.

Under it, EU companies are able to trade and invest in Ghana and produce goods for export to the wider African market – while the removal of tariffs on intermediary goods and machinery from the EU under the iEAP means cheaper inputs for Ghanaian production.

Commenting on the Compete Ghana Programme, Deputy Minister for Trade, Oheneba Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei, said the programme is a demonstration of the power of partnerships – leading to enhanced trade capabilities and sustainable development opportunity.

“The Compete Ghana Programme has been instrumental in promoting innovation, enhancing competitiveness and creating a conducive environment for business to thrive,” she highlighted.

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