SMEs hail government’s GH¢10 billion for start-ups

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Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the Cape Coast Metropolis have applauded government’s intervention to roll out a GH¢10-billion package over three years as support for start-up businesses and youth entrepreneurship ventures in the country.

The initiative seeks to give assistance to young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to launch and operate their businesses.

The entrepreneurs told the Ghana News Agency, it was a viable vehicle to increase revenue generation, enhance economy diversification and expansion drive to create jobs for the unemployed.

It also reinforced government’s strong commitment to shift the country’s productive capacities from taxation to production by creating the enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

In the 2022 budget, government through the E-Levy, proposed to use GH¢1 billion each year to catalyse an ecosystem to create one million jobs.

That would be carried out through the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) and partner financial institutions.

Mr Jonathan Forson, owner of Central Aluminum Works at Pedu called for transparency and accountability in the disbursements of the funds and reminded not to politicize interventions to defeat its purpose.

Madam Grace Dadzie, a Designer, advised SMEs, hawkers and petty traders to get their businesses registered to benefit from the interventions.

She narrated how similar interventions in the past helped to expand her business and encouraged SMEs to embrace proper bookkeeping practices to keep track of their income and expenses.

By keeping accurate records, the business could get a snapshot of its wealth in the form of financial statements such as income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements and more.

The lack of proper documentation to support loan application, lack of evidence knowledge on market in the particular sector or product and poor accounting, she cited were some of the top reasons for failed SME businesses.

Mr Ernest Addison, a student of the University of Cape Coast, proposed that at least one percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Produce (GDP) should be permanently allocated to support young entrepreneurs to enable them own their businesses instead of relying on government for employment.

In addition to that, he reiterated the need for government to work towards drastically reducing interest rates, exchange rate, fuel prices and other support services for local business growth and expansion.

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