Invest in Africa (IIA)- Ghana, a not-for-profit organisation with the vision to create thriving African economies together with its partners, have provided business opportunities and contracts worth $58 million to Ghanaian Small Medium Enterprises (SME).
Mr Clarence Nartey, the Country Manager, IIA- Ghana, said out of the $58 million dollars, $44.2 million of value has been retained in Ghana either as a household income or tax.
Mr Nartey was speaking at the maiden edition of the IIA SME Excellence Awards held under the theme: “Building Local Businesses for Global Markets” in Accra.
Right Consults, an electronic security firm, was adjudged the IIA Star Award for excellence.
The award is to recognise small sized businesses in Ghana that have strived for excellence over the years.
He said in today’s globalised world, choosing not to compete globally is not an option for any serious growth-oriented SME.
The Country Manager said: “We have set ourselves a target of growing 50 buyers and larger businesses from the SME pool, many of whom we expect to be globally competitive.”
He said IIA Ghana has empowered close to 200 local SMEs by improving entrepreneurial, managerial and technological competencies with support from the Africa Development Bank via the Fund for African Private Sector Assistance.
He said management had been working hard with its financial partners to address the concerns of access to finance by helping reduce lending risk and making SMEs more investment-ready.
“Last year, working together with our banking partners, we were able to provide credit and loans worth $500,000 to some of our SMEs,” he said.
Mr Nartey said IIA Ghana has also contributed to job creation by supporting the creation of 13,000 jobs across the 10 sectors in the economy.
Mr Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, commended management and staff of IIA-Ghana for their sense of purpose in establishing the platform for celebrating local businesses for the global presence.
He said government’s priority was to create jobs for the people through an industrialisation and entrepreneurship drive led by the private sector.
He said government was committed to building a vibrant private sector led-economy, second to none in the sub-region.
The Minister said it was evident that SME plays critical role in terms of contributing to the economic growth and development coupled with job creation.
“Government is building the competitiveness of existing local companies by facilitating access to medium and long term financing,” he added.
Other awardees are Stredstar Engineering and Construction Limited-Sustainable Business of the year award, Joissam Ghana Limited- Scale-up Business award, AB Engineering Company Limited- Business Transformation award.The rest are RVL Ventures and Sustainable Agro Limited both in the Business Linkages in the APP category, Asheba Enterprise- Business Innovation award, Madam Fuseni Ayisha was the Female Entrepreneur award, Sustainable Agro LTD for the Business Linkage Award and Agriaccess Ghana Limited- Award for Merit