GCCI To Roll Out Strategic Plan To Develop SMEs

The Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) would soon roll out a five -year strategic plan to systematically develop and grow Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the country. Among the plan are, strategic activities to influence policies, networking as well as ensuring access to credit and markets for members. The Chief Executive Officer of the GCCI, Mr. Emmanuel Doni Kwame, announced these when he opened a two-day capacity building workshop for 40 members of the Cape Coast Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCCI) in Cape Coast on Thursday. The workshop organized by the CCCCI with support from the Business Development Services (BDS) Fund was among others, aimed at training members on the effective use of various Information and Communication Technology tools for product development. Topics to be discussed include: “training in research and marketing”, “the use of financial management tools in building” and “managing capital structures”. Mr Kwame said, the vision of the leadership of the GCCI was to revive the Chamber in all regions across the country to help facilitate the growth of SMEs, which formed about 92 per cent of the total business establishments in Ghana. Dr.Mrs. Rosemond Boohene, the head of Management Studies at the University of Cape Coast, said the sector employs about 61 per cent of the working population and also contributes about 70 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. It was in this regard that the Government and its development partners as well as private individuals and institutions have accorded significant interventions in the form of training, and access to financing, all in the bid to develop and strengthen the sector to help enhance its contribution to the nation’s economy. Dr Boohene said, the interventions were yet to impact positively on the main actors of the sector due to technical reasons such as the lack of technical skills needed to compliment such interventions. She noted that the business climate in Ghana was undergoing drastic changes with clients asking for state of the art services and customers demanding value for money. Dr. Boohene was of the hope that, the workshop will help sharpen the potentials of the participants to bring about growth in SMEs using modern entrepreneurial principles and strategies. Mr. Eric Agyare, the Deputy Team leader of BDS was appalled that many SMEs operators were un-entrepreneurial and only start businesses because someone else was doing it. He observed that most of the SMEs at the organizational level did not have “what it takes to run the businesses with some having their bank accounts in their “pockets.” He said the BDS helps SMEs to procure business development services required for them to move from one level. Mr. Harry Mensah, Chairman of the CCCCI called on all members to join hands to build the industry.