More than twenty Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs) within the oil palm, cocoa and artisanal gold mining sector in the Western and Central Regions have received training on how to overcome challenges that could hinder their readiness for investment.
The training formed part of a broader strategy to make SGBs within the oil palm, cocoa and artisanal gold mining sector investment-ready by equipping them with skills in entrepreneurship and business management to create viable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) along the supply chain.
It was put together by Solidaridad West Africa in collaboration with the International Labour Organization’s Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprise (ILO-SCORE), and facilitated by the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with funding from the Dutch and Swiss Governments.
Mr Nii Doodo Dodoo, Training and Curriculum Manager at Solidaridad, said the organisation worked closely with supply chain actors, both private and public, to improve production practices using climate-smart approaches, whilst addressing issues of food security, nutrition, community development and gender.
He noted that improving access to capital and scaling up investments for agricultural SMEs was essential for sustainable and inclusive development, describing the training as critical to the survival of SMEs.
According to him, SMEs were equally hindered by the lack of business skills and capacity which ultimately contributes to the lack of access to the capital they desperately need to stimulate growth.
He said good production practices must necessarily be transformed into bankable businesses to be able to attract the investments they require to be sustainable.
He said lessons learnt from such piloted training would be used to develop curriculum targeted at Small and Growing Social Enterprises in the cocoa, gold and oil palm value chains.
“We bring together supply chain players and engage them with innovative solutions to increase production, ensuring the transition to sustainable and inclusive economy that maximizes the benefit for all,” he said.
Mr Samuel Onoma Asiedu, National Coordinator, said SCORE Ghana strongly shares in their focus on stimulating sustainable supply chains through innovations in production, marketing and trade relations, landscape management and policy enabling.
He noted that interventions such as SCORE presented numerous opportunities to further strengthen the brands of SMEs to make them more productive and competitive.
He said the SCORE training which uses five modules with relevance to industry, demonstrates the best international practices in manufacturing and service sectors and helps SMEs to participate in global supply chains.
He expressed the hope that the collaboration would bring the changes in attitude and practices at the enterprises, and ultimately translate into increases in job creation, incomes and sustainable growth.
Mr Ebenezer Armah, a beneficiary, commended Solidaridad and ILO for the initiative and said they have been empowered through the series of training on how they could be efficient in their production.