The government is to establish a special fund to enable businesses under the micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) category to have access to cheaper sources of funds to enhance their operations.
The new Ghana Enterprises Agency Act, which is expected to provide the legal framework for the establishment of the fund is awaiting Presidential assent.
When assented, the Act will also provide the framework for the transformation of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) into a bigger entity to be known as the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA).
It will enable the new entity to become more impactful by coordinating the MSME sector to ensure efficiency and promote the development and growth of MSMEs in the country.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, made this known at the opening of the Ghana Women Entrepreneurship Summit organised by the NBSSI, Mastercard Foundation and BUSAC Fund on November 9 in Accra.
On the theme: "Ghanaian women entrepreneurs: The cornerstone of economic resilience," the biennial event was aimed at enhancing the growth of women-led businesses.
About 50 women-owned businesses participated in the summit by mounting a stand at the business section to display their products.
Businesses that participated include Northern Fresh Grains and Cereals, Mawuli Ventures, Gabby Foods ABISAF Natural Spices, and Theresa Ganfaa Foods.
Support to women businesses
Mr Ahomka-Lindsay said the government was committed to providing continuous support to women entrepreneurs to effectively contribute to the country’s economic development.
He said women businesses accounted for about 45 per cent of all registered enterprises in the country and needed to be empowered to effectively grow the economy to achieve the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
To achieve the goal of industrialised Ghana, the Deputy Minister said women-owned businesses needed to identify real and distinctive policies to ensure that Ghanaian women entrepreneurs reached their potential.
He urged women to come up with real practical, distinctive solutions to address challenges faced in their businesses and suggest policies and interventions to enable them to meet their targets.
Force to reckon
The Executive Director of NBSSI, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, said the GEA would help to better deliver on its mandate, be a force to reckon with and to continue to transform enterprises, mainly the business of the women.
This, she said, would make such businesses more competitive to survive in the economy, grow and expand beyond the country.
‘I am very happy we delivered on our promise, till date the Coronavirus Alleviation Business support scheme had given support to over 200,000 beneficiaries of which 70 per-cent are women,” she said.
“We are happy about the impact made over the period. NBSSI would continue to work to transform the sector and ensure that the President’s initiative to create a Ghana beyond aid, promote women in business and private sector development would be achieved,” she said.
According to her, about 300,000 people had benefited from the board’s business development services since 2017 while many jobs were created.
The Executive Director said the NBSSI would work hard to ensure that women MSMEs were digitised and receive support to compete at the international front.
She said partnering with the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), 400 MSMEs would be accredited with the required certifications to compete on the global stage.
She commended the Mastercard Foundation for its support and partnership, the Ministry of Finance, Ministry for Trade and Industry and all stakeholders for their contribution to the NBSSI.
The Regional Head, West, Central and North Africa of the Mastercard Foundation, Ms Natalie Gabala, added that the partnership with the NBSSI was to grow the entrepreneurial ability of young women in the country.