Aligned to this prospect, he said, is the move by the Trade Ministry to transform the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) into an enterprise development authority that will have regulatory and supervisory powers to firmly operate in the interest of SMEs.
Mr. Ahenkorah, who was speaking at NBSSI’s partners’ appreciation awards event in Accra, said: “It has been statistically determined that SMEs form about 85percent of our total industrial space, and if this were so, that they have supported this economy up until this point, then it only stands to reason that we find a way to strengthen the base.”
He added: “This year, we intend to transform the NBSSI into an Enterprise Development Authority which will have a regulatory function and be able to stand firm on behalf of SMEs in terms pooling interventions to the sector.”
Also, to enhance its business support services, Mr. Ahenkorah said the NBSSI will be upgrading all of its Business Advisory Centres (BACs) spread across over 254 districts in the country into Business Resource Centres (BRCs) which will serve as a one-stop-shop for SMEs.
“Before 2020, all agencies that are involved in business regulatory functions, such as the Ghana Standards Authority, will have representatives in these BRCs,” he noted.
NBSSIs Partners Appreciation Awards was to recognize and appreciate the various institutions, agencies and donor partners whose continuous support and contributions have helped in diverse ways towards the core mandate of the institution.
In all, about 19 partners were recognized with citations including Vodafone Ghana, Rural Enterprises Programme (REP), IFAD, JICA, BUSAC Fund, Christian Aid, Ghana Blind Union, and the MTN Ghana Foundation.
The rest were Efua Dabanka, an entrepreneur and CEO of SheLeadsIT, the Association of Small Scale Industries (ASSI), Mondelez Cocoa Life, AfDB, MoTI, Blu Penguin, IPA and Stanbic Bank. Media partners that were recognized were GTV, Citi TV and the Ghana News Agency.
Executive Director of the NBSSI, Kosi Yankey, thanked the various partners for their immense contributions, especially in the areas of capacity building and technical expertise for micro, small and medium enterprises in the country.
She said the NBSSI, which is being transformed into an enterprise development authority, will coordinate and monitor the activities of all MSMEs and provide the needed support to grow their business.
“In 2019, we will coordinate and monitor MSMEs in the country. Why and how? Because if we do not monitor and follow and see what our MSMEs are doing, it will be quite difficult for us to see how best we can support them to grow,” she indicated.
She added: “We have received support from the REP to really change the face of NBSSI, to change the brand, to strengthen our building as well as strengthen our logistics and support. We will also build the capacity of our staff in order for them to better carry out their functions.”