THE TRAINING of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) under the €1.5 million COVID-19 SME Innovation and Digitalisation Support Scheme has ended in Accra with the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) expressing optimism of scaling up training for more Ghanaian businesses.
The intervention, which was supported by the Invest for Jobs programme of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and implemented mainly by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fürInternationaleZusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, had equipped about 500 Ghanaian SMEs, with needed skilled to digitalise operations.
This was part of strategies adopted by the GEA and its partners, to promote business continuity, as well as to improve operational efficiency.
Speaking at the closing ceremony in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer of GEA, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh described the initiative as one of the most successful interventions as it had propelled SMEs to seek better ways of remaining sustainable amid economic downturns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Businesses, she indicated, had been in search of avenues to among other things strengthen financial capability and build better relationships with customers through the use of online tools and applications.
“It came at a time when SMEs were wondering how do we take advantage of this new normal and how do we start over again? How do we sell our product this time using technology?” she said.
She disclosed that the scheme has also helped the agency to gain more insight into how to better engage with partner institutions and Micro Small Medium Enterprises.
“We look forward to more successful partnership with GIZ and we believe that there will be a second phase to this project” Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said.
Beneficiaries were trained in social media marketing and management, web-designing, and learning management system.
They were also provided access to various digital tools and applications, including enterprise resource planning tools, customer relationship management software, inventory management, and accounts/financial management tools, among others.
Head of Programmes for the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation at GIZ, Gerald Gostkowski commended the GEA for the design and implementation of the project within a one-year period.
“During the pandemic you have proved that you can overcome challenges and that we can jointly accelerate the digital transformation of businesses in Ghana” he said.
Team Lead for SME Directory at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Stella Akosua Ansah, said the initiative was complementary to efforts of government in repositioning the MSME sector to play a key role in the industrial transformation agenda.
BY Issah Mohammed