Create and nurture SMEs — Analysts

09 Sep 2014, Posted by Kwamina Anderson in News

The Chief Operations Officer of Advans Ghana, Ms Barbara Odei, has underscored that the country risks economic stagnation if it does not create new small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and sustain them.

The creation and nurturing of new SMEs, she said, were vital to the economic prosperity of the country.

Speaking at the maiden SMEs Africa summit in Accra, Ms Odei said SMEs – like any other business entity – were exposed to various macro environmental variables, including marketing, management, social, human resources and financial related matters.

The summit exposed the participants to major topics relating to the development and growth of SMEs in Africa, technology and infrastructure, succession planning and building of durable values.
She said though SME operators were saddled with economic, political and technological challenges, they also saw opportunities in their external environment.

“SMEs, like any other business entity, need to be aware of changes in the external environment, which include changes in the economic, social, political, technological and international environment,” she said.

Ms Odei, who spoke on the topic: “Overcoming the Challenges of SMEs Human Resources and Government,” said the economic climate in a country implied that economic factors had a direct impact on the consumption patterns of the people which in turn impacted on businesses in all sectors.

She mentioned marketing factors such as competition, low demand for products, not meeting customer needs, wrong pricing strategies, lack of knowledge, poor location, product variety and branding as some of the challenges that affected SMEs.

“SMEs undertake little marketing activities as they have difficulties managing the various marketing challenges,” she stated.

Mr Martyn Mensah, Chief Executive Officer, UT Group, hailed the event as timely since it presented an opportunity for needed opinions and concerns to be expressed especially when SMEs were major entities in every country’s development.

He said in Ghana, SMEs were a group of individuals who recognised opportunities where others saw chaos; hence they make up the average businesses worldwide and promote employment, growth and development.
Mr Mensah advised SMEs to acquaint themselves with the necessary measures of boosting their businesses and develop abilities that would help them detach themselves from their companies and make it function towards the country and Africa’s development.

Mr Yaw Asamoah, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Creative Trends, organisers of the African SME Summit, said the absence of tools and weak partnership access in the country and Africa at large were major hindrance to businesses in the continent.

“It is high time SMEs contributed in knowledge, technology, trade and inventions to the world, and this should be done with finesse towards Africa’s development,” he said.

The event, sponsored by GRAPHIC BUSINESS and other partners, brought together a cross-section of people, including SME owners, entrepreneurs, bankers, telecommunication groups, to initiate discussions on businesses and its correlation in changing societies as well as the fortunes of the masses.

The three days summit, which was on the theme: “Small Companies, Big Impact,” sought to promote science in the approach of a new project discourse of responsibility, values, ideals and standards.

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