The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) have launched a call for application to scale up Ghana’s national Kaizen initiatives on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) promotion.
The call for proposal under the joint implementation of UNIDO and the GEA is part of activities of a $3.9 Million project “Expanding the Kaizen Initiatives by Enhancing Sustainable Agri-Business,” funded by the government of Japan to sustainably and continually improve quality and productivity of businesses in Ghana.
Kaizen is a Japanese methodology and philosophy for continuous quality and productivity at the shop floor level.
Through the 36 months project, UNIDO and GEA will enhance the productivity, sustanaibility and competiveness of Ghanaian MSMEs and agri-business enterprises by scaling up Kaizen initiatives and introducing smart and sustainable agri-business.
The project will adopt a three-prong approach by supporting GEA to enhance its technical and managerial capacity for its sustainable service provision to MSMEs, introduing Kaizen to selected Ghanaian SMEs and smart sustainable agriculture with more than 600 businesses expected to benefit.
Mr. Marin Mizuno, UNIDO Project Manager, noted that acquiring proper enterprise performance management skill was crucial to the sustanaibility of MSMEs and enterprsies growth.
Mr. Mizuno said: “In this difficult time, the only control at our disposal is our own internal resources, which we can maximize to improve enterprise performance. And in this regard, I strongly believe that the Kaizen approach, which leverages on the efficiency of internal resources, is the perfect tool for MSMEs to cope with the current difficulties.”
He emphasised that UNIDO’s Smart and Sustainable Agri-business, an innovative enterprise performance management tool which leverages on digital solutions to productivity improvement will contribute to modernizing enterprise performance management in the MSMEs space.
Mr. Tetsuya Imaoka, Coordinator for Economic Cooperation of the Embassy of Japan in Ghana revealed the philosophy of Kaizen is to improve the enterprise performance by maximizing the efficiency with the available resources, rather than resorting to huge capital investment.
Mr. Imaoka affirmed: “I believe Japanese technology, experience and wisdom through a variety of methodologies and approaches is exactly what is needed in Ghana, especially for micro, small and medium enterprises as we go through a very difficult time.”
Mr Patrick Numo, Chief Director of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, said the project was important because of its very special nature to support small businesses to get more value out of their investments.
He said large enterprises used such schemes to enhance and monitor the growth of their businesses.
He said it was an opportune time for businesses to embrace and implement such systems to ensure they were not making internal losses due to the current financial difficulties.
Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, Caretaker Minister for the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Substantive Minister for the Minstry of Lands and Natural Resources said data from the registrar General’s Department of Ghana indicates that about 90% of businesses registered in Ghana are MSMEs.
He confrmed: “Micro, Small and Medium enterprises have been identified by Government as the means through which its Industrial Transformation Agenda and other development goals of the country can be realised and we are grateful to Japan for this support.”
Mrs. Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, the Chief Executive Officer of GEA stated that the project is going to stimulate the National Expansion drive for MSMEs with emphasis on production efficiency, food safety and compliance to make them more efficient and competitive.
Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh added: “We are committed, prepared and well-positioned to partner with UNIDO to ensure the smooth commemncement and successful implementation of the Project”.
MSMEs who meet the selection requirement would be selected for Kaizen and SSAB training. The selected MSMEs will also benefit from the capital investment component of the project.
The Call for Proposal for the programme will run until the 30th of April for the enterprises to apply.
The selection will be duly conducted for the final nomination of the enterprises to be supported under the programme.