Accra, Oct. 4, GNA – Enhancing Growth In New Enterprises’ (ENGINE) Business Plan Competition and Entrepreneurship Development Programme, has over the years created 1, 203 jobs in Ghana.
The programme has also supported 421 SMEs with financial and logistical support through the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) to develop and implement their business ideas, Philip Smith, the Country Director for the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in Ghana, announced.
Mr Smith was speaking at a two-day Enhancing Development at Ghanaian Entrepreneurs (EDGE) stakeholders’ Conference and exhibition 2017 in Accra.
The event was on the theme: “Scaling Business in Ghana: Finding needless in the Haystack.”
The conference brought together a network of entrepreneurs, government officials, financial institutions and business development service providers to find common solutions to the entrepreneurship development challenges, in the country.
He said the support had resulted in more than 250 per cent revenue growth of such businesses.
Ghana, he said, was one of the top 10 counties in Africa, with regard to young people starting a business.
However, he said challenges such as the high cost of energy, regulatory challenges, poor business acumen and the high cost of finance were the contributing factors to why entrepreneurs in Ghana were failing to grow and scale their business ideas.
He expressed the hope that before the programme would end in 2018, 500 SMEs would have been helped to overcome barriers to growth and build competitive businesses in Ghana.
“Many of ENGINE entrepreneurs are now exporting products ranging from indigenous beauty products such as black soap and Shea butter-based cosmetics to environmentally friendly bamboo bicycle frames, across Africa and into Europe and North America,” he added.
Mr Smith said DFID was also working with the Government to improve the business enabling environment for businesses in Ghana through the Business Enabling Environment Programme (BEEP).
BEEP is helping government streamline business regulation, thus making it easier and less costly for businesses to comply with these, recognising that the policy and regulatory environment for doing business was also important for business growth.
“DFID is currently developing a new Economic Development Programme to support job creation in line with the Government’s ambitious industrialisation strategy,” he said.
Mr Joe Takyi, the Chief Director, Ministry of Business Development, speaking on behalf of the Minister of Business Development, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, said the Ministry was about to implement the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), a primary vehicle for providing an integrated, national support for early-stage start-up and small businesses.
He said the Plan was currently seeded with $10 million, which would be leveraged to raise private capital and multilateral funding of $100 million to fund its programme.
He said the results from the ENGINE programmes demonstrated that with the right kind of interventions and approvals, small enterprises should be able to scale up to contribute significantly to the economic development by creating jobs and livelihood.
He said the Government, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry, was speedily pursuing reforms within the business environment to make it favourable for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise to thrive and grow.
The overall objective is to create a conducive and most friendly business environment to achieve a thriving private sector that would create wealth and deliver jobs to the teeming youth.
He commended the UK and DFID for their continuous support to develop the private sector and also TechnoServe for creating the ENGINE programme to drive growth of the SMEs.