Give SMEs more attention — Ernest De-Graft Egyir

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chief Executive Network Ghana, Mr Ernest De-Graft Egyir, has proposed the setting up of a parallel  body to the National Board for Small Scale Enterprises (NBSSI) at Cabinet level to help address the bottlenecks holding back the growth of promising small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country.

Unlike the NBSSI, which is focused on growing micro enterprises, Mr Egyir said the SMEs Promotion and Development Council should leverage its Cabinet status to help grow small and  promising businesses to multinationals.

It should do this by ensuring that an enabling environment and friendly policies for such businesses are created for them to thrive.

Mr De-Graft gave the recommendation in an interview with the GRAPHIC BUSINESS in Accra.

By SMEs, he said, “I don’t mean the micro enterprises; I mean enterprises that are formal and registered with turnovers, with proper bookkeeping, and good accounting systems.”

“It is about time we paid special attention to these SMEs  because they contribute enormously to our gross domestic product. They are the economic fly-wheel of the country and it must begin to turn,” he stated.

He, therefore urged the government and the private sector to look at setting up this council as he believed it would speed up the development of the sector.

The council,he said should complement the duties of pro-private sector institutions such as the Private Enterprise Federation (PEF), the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and NBSSI, which are promoting the interest of small and large scale enterprises.

SME CEOs Summit

Mr De-Graft pointed out that, the maiden Ghana SMEs CEOs Summit, which will  soon be launched to begin the advocacy for the setting up the SME council.

“There should always be a starting point and that is why we are starting the Ghana SME CEOs summit and expo,” he noted.

He said the summit would be a good frontier to create a nurturing environment for professionals and CEOs dedicated to improve the quality and profitability of their enterprises through shared experiences and personal growth strategies.

“This economic-growth potent summit will help move SMEs and their CEOs struggling to be successful to a new growth level and help these business leaders manage to turn their businesses into growth companies with the potential to make a difference to the economy. A factor needed for investors to be more open and not conservative in lending and or investing,” he said.

“It will enable global SME and local SME CEOs to integrate and interact with world class experts to foster knowledge acquisition, learning, partnerships and synergies to drive increased personal as well as organisational growth,” he added.

He said the summit, which would be held on the theme “Scaling up of SMEs for inclusive growth” would combine between knowledge and experience by providing preeminent business opportunities to its members from across the globe.

Inclusive growth

Touching on the theme for the summit, Mr De-graft said it settled on the theme because “it is an established fact that economic growth or development in the country is not commensurate with the level of employment.”

“In Africa, for instance, with a GDP of five per cent, you still see poverty is endemic. There is no inclusive growth so the growth that  we are advocating  is that, while the GDP grows, poverty must decline,” he said.

He said this was the focus of the summit as it would provide a platform for the CEOs of SMEs and government to dialogue on how to promote inclusive growth.



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