Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) remain a principal catalyst for economic activity as they are considered to be key drivers to inclusive growth among majority of citizens.
The sector accounts for more than 90 per cent of all registered companies, with almost about the same figure as employment generated largely in manufacturing activities making a contribution of some 70 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The SME sector however has to cope with varied challenges in the business environment which serve as a fetter even in the face of prevalent and visible characteristics for growth.
To address the growth challenge, the Chief Executives Network Ghana Limited, in partnership with Deloitte Ghana, has set up the first ever Ghana SME CEO Summit and Exhibition scheduled for November 20, on the theme: “Scaling Up SMEs for Inclusive Growth; The CEO and Government as Drivers”.
In an interview with the Goldstreet Business ahead of the Summit, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Chief Executives Network Ghana Limited, Mr Ernest De-Graft Egyir, said the event is to afford global and local CEOs to interact and foster knowledge acquisition while building partnerships and synergies to drive increased personal, as well as, business growth.
“There are so many SME events all over Ghana, but we want this to be a mouthpiece, a flagship SME platform where all the issues concerning SME policy makers and SME owners’ linkages will start.”
Egyir argued that the pervasive poverty and high unemployment in the country is attributable to the inability of SMEs to scale up.
“If each of the 92 per cent of SMEs should scale up, employment will increase and then poverty will reduce. That is our problem. There is no inclusive growth” he asserted.
On his expectation for the 2018 budget for the SME sector, he said the budget must be “pro-SME” by addressing issues of taxes and levies that will make the sector thrive while proposing a “conscious SME sustainability Development plan to achieve that objective.
The CEO advised business owners to change the mind-set of getting “satisfied so easily” once they make some money capable of buying a car or building a house, a situation he said denies otherwise expandable businesses to remain stunted.
He threw invitation to SMEs with workers and an annual turnover of about GHS 500, 000 and above with characteristics for growth to attend the summit and experience new ways of doing business.
Discussions at the summit will be focused on themes covering policies and regulations, SME finance, business growth, technology and women CEOs in the SME sector.
By Godfred Tawiah Gogo