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Business News Tue, 4 Aug 2015

Push National Service personnel to SMEs

President of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Ghana (EFG), Sam Ato-Gaisie, says the National Service Secretariat (NSS) must consider pushing service personnel to small and medium enterprises.

This, he said, will help the sector to access the much needed expertise and technical know-how to grow and expand to contribute significantly to socio-economic transformation aside preparing the graduates adequately for the job market.

“The small and medium enterprises sector—which is touted as the engine of growth—currently lacks the requisite expertise to grow but we have graduates who come home after national service to sit at home because there are no jobs.

“Government must come up with a policy that will direct the NSS to put their expertise to use in this key economic area to boost the productivity and contribution of the sector to national development,” he said.

Another possibility, he said, is that such service personnel may develop strong business acumen in the process of practicing what they had studied in school in a business that has been started by someone who decided to start a business rather than to seek for a white-collar job.

“These SMEs were started by people who chose to work for themselves rather than seek for non-existent jobs after school; there is therefore the tendency for service personnel understudying such entrepreneurs to develop the idea of starting their own business after service.

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“By so doing, we will be tackling the teeming unemployment situation through an aggressive entrepreneurial agenda,” he said.

The small and medium enterprises sub-sector; which underpins the private sector, is currently faced with the challenges of the lack of market access and business expansion; a situation that is largely attributable to the lack of competent workforce with the requisite operational skills.

The concern of the entrepreneurial activist resonate earlier calls from government, bankers and industrialists on the need for aggressive support to businesses in the SMEs sector, especially those owned by women, to cushion economic growth.

“Women-owned SMEs don’t receive the needed attention to equip and retool their businesses to enable them to compete effectively in the global market.

“Considering that they account for 49 percent of Gross Domestic Product from the informal sector and also control more than half of businesses in the SME sector; there is the need to empower them to cushion economic growth,” Dolapo Ogundimu, Managing Director of Access Bank, said on the sidelines of a recently held capacity development workshop for women entrepreneurs in Accra.

Source: B&FT
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