In every phase of our economic evolution, the private sector in Ghana has nurtured and developed significant efficiencies that have secured growth and dynamism throughout the economy. The most underrated part of the private sector remain the MSMEs that make up 90% of all businesses in Ghana and are the biggest driver of economic growth. They are the biggest employer and the largest source of employment generation and household incomes.
Entrepreneurship by MSMEs in trade and commerce has been an ever-present rainbow on the horizon of Ghana’s economy. MSMEs have organised and turned critical growth sectors such a transport systems, education, information and communication technology (ICT), fuels marketing, and logistics and warehousing into profitable enterprises that underpin and catalyse growth across the economy.
… In Difficult Operating Circumstances
However, this has been in spite of stifling fiscal and monetary policies of Government, and unhelpful regulatory and legal frameworks. Severe environmental impediments that restrain the ability of entrepreneurial businesses to stay viable and profitable remain a constant in the world of enterprise in Ghana. These include; a dearth of skills, confidence, and education, access to affordable capital, inefficient, inadequate and high-cost infrastructure, and a public sector suspicious of the private sector.
Success Stories Continue to Emerge …
The basic ingredient for long-term success in these businesses is the creation of new opportunities that have a broad appeal. Papaye and Spacefon did this in the 1990s on their way to becoming local giants. The other elements needed to solidify success are the pairing of effective risk-management, experimentation, and innovation by business leaders who have a keen understanding of the changing business environment a la Databank and Ashfoam.
… Driven by Out-of-the-Box Concepts
Generally, the most successful MSME businesses that changed the rules-of-the-game in their sectors, leveraged:
Private sector collaborators that harness the competencies of the entrepreneurial employees, and emerging market opportunities;
Enlightened financial backers who give MSMEs time and space to grow their ideas, and focus on the long term sustainability of profits;
Consumer tribes confident that these enterprises lived a culture of being loyal to customers, and commitment to the quality of the product or service they sell; and
Public sector actors with a clear understanding of their business models. This removes the nervous suspicion of the public sector and builds supportive relationships; and
Technology-solutions and skills that reduce knowledge and information gaps and attract seed funding to private enterprises; and
Access to business and social infrastructure such as power, payment systems, telecommunications, R&D and human capital development facilities, and the goodwill of consumers and business partners.
A Peep into the Future
Beyond 2016 and looking towards the change that Ghanaian entrepreneurs will be making in the next half-decade, it seems obvious that the MSMEs who will make the biggest impact will be those that:
Open up new business areas and build new income sources across the economy;
Create new communities of consumers and business partners to drive social change in the world of work, leisure, commerce, etcetera;
Accelerate economic activities and boost profits by improving the efficiencies of MSMEs;
Design an enabling atmosphere where young people have room to create innovation in secure, well-paying employment.
Help regulators to understand and adjust their role to more effectively nurture entrepreneurship
Join us at the Ishmael Yamson & Associates Business Roundtable 2016 on 28th July at the Best Western Premier Hotel as we explore this and other paths to “Staying Viable and Profitable in Our Current Difficult Times”.