Panelists at an event to mark the UN Day for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have urged entrepreneurs to plan into the future to take advantage of the prospects during and after the coronavirus pandemic.
They argued that although there were many opportunities to be exploited in the current environment, it would require preparation to be able to tap into them and become successful.
The event organised by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) in partnership with Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works was to join millions of entrepreneurs worldwide to commemorate International Day for MSMEs.
The special day, which is marked on June 27 every year, is to honour MSMEs in the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainability Development Goal (SDG).
This year’s day is being marked under the global theme: ‘‘The Great Lockdown and its impact on Small Business’’ and seeks to recognise and raise public awareness of the immense contribution MSMEs play to sustainable development and poverty alleviation.
In Ghana, the event was characterised by a panel discussion on the topic: ‘‘Raising Entrepreneurs amid the COVID –19.’’
The NBSSI/Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works is expected to commemorate the day to bring together relevant stakeholders in the MSME sector and to explore opportunities that will help offset current trends impacting these businesses as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
In their contributions, the panelists from the Association of Ghana Industries, the NBSSI, Mastercard Foundation and an Entrepreneur, all agreed that while the pandemic had impacted the various sectors of the country’s economy, it had also provided the opportunity for entrepreneurs to look within and produce the needed items.
In her opening statement, Mrs. Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, The Executive Director of NBSSI, recognized the efforts of Ghanaian entrepreneurs, who defied all odds to carve a niche for themselves and stand tall despite the myriad of challenges they face in their operations.
She said the impact of COVID-19, both negative and positive, could not be wished away, saying the MSMEs are at the centre of job creation and employment.
She said MSMEs serve as a catalyst for creating wealth, providing employment, and enhancing economic development.
“Over the years, MSMEs have been the backbone and a strong driving force for all developing countries like Ghana,” Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said.
The commemoration of the MSME Day is a precursor to a planned launch event of the Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works project in all 16 regions across Ghana.
The Mastercard Foundation and NBSSI Partnership is an entrepreneurship development and employment programme targeted at young people, particularly young women, in Ghana.
The partnership falls under the NBSSI’s Youth Entrepreneurs and Employment program (YEEP). The partnership will create employment and income- generation opportunities for 39,000 young men and women in Ghana. Seventy percent of beneficiaries of the partnership will be women.