Not less than 200 young Ghanaian entrepreneurs have received training from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to help them take advantage of the prospects presented by Africa’s flagship free trade market agreement.
Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) owners received training on how to use digital technology to develop their businesses and gain access to a market that would connect 1.3 billion people in 55 different countries.
Through a collaboration with the Thunderbird School of Global Management, the participants in the UNDP Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation Boot camp received training in 18 thematic business modules (Arizona, United States of America).
The modules included organisational readiness for scaling and expansion; accountability, transparency, ethics in business, financial analysis and management, and funding and access to capital.
Other topics covered in training were, redefining diversity, equity, and inclusion for business success; public-private partnerships for business; and building customer loyalty through marketing.
At the beneficiaries’ graduation in Accra, Dr. Angela Lusigi, Resident Representative for UNDP Ghana, stated that the initiative to develop Ghanaian businesses as global entrepreneurs was formed out of the difficulties they mostly encountered.
It included the lack of access to skills and knowledge to manage, grow and sustain as well as constrained access to financing, networks, and mentorship to propel them into the global market.
Dr Lusigi said: “MSMEs like yours make up the majority of all enterprises in Ghana. Your business and innovative ideas are essential to Ghana’s development. I urge you to make the most of Ghana and Africa’s enormous untapped market and resources through the AfCFTA.”
“We invite you to continue to engage with UNDP as we work across Ghana to help connect emerging businesses to real-time information and opportunities through our digital SME gateway in partnership with GEA, Ministry of Trade and MMDAs.” The UNDP Ghana Rep told the beneficiaries.
Aside from the training, Dr Lusigi said UNDP was working with entrepreneurs to use the skills and knowledge gained “to come up with new solutions to the old economic, environmental and social challenges.”
Mr Philip Thigo, Senior Director of Africa, Thunderbird School of Global Management, encouraged the beneficiaries of the programme not to be limited in their entrepreneurial exploits, saying: “you’re only limited by yourself.”
Expressing her glee with the programme, Ms Gertrude Akosua Gyamfua Awumee of Trudie Arts and Crafts and a beneficiary of the scholarship scheme described the training as “life-changing.”
She emphasized: “Prior to this training, I didn’t even know what business management was all about and I’ve been doing this (work) for five years. This course has changed my life and the dynamics of my business.”
From the training, Ms Awumee said she now has the ability to properly do bookkeeping, client and business management, adding that it was “a great opportunity to be able to nurture our dreams and creative minds into value-added ones.”
For his part, Daniel Sedohia, also a trainee, said he had expanded his experience in entrepreneurship, client, and customer management, and would be able to scale his business sustainably and create employment for others.