By Francis Ntow
Accra, Sept 20, GNA – The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has extended its entrepreneurship support programme to 72 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.
Under the second phase of the Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) programme, the focus would be on training and coaching waste management and recycling as well as women-led or women-owned businesses.
The SMEs for the second phase of the programme would be selected from five regions, which are also working in the manufacturing and hospitality sectors and businesses adopting green and eco-friendly practices.
This was to help the beneficiaries scale up their productivity, become internationally competitive and contribute to increase in sustainable and decent job creation in the country.
SCORE is an International Labour Organisation (ILO) global programme to improve productivity and working conditions of SMEs with practical classroom and in-factory consulting with support from GIZ’s Invest for Jobs programme.
It is being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in partnership with the Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI).
Two more regions, Eastern and Ashanti would be added to Greater Accra, Central and Western regions, making it five beneficiary regions, while 10 new SCORE experts would be trained to aid in the capacity building of the SMEs.
Speaking at the launch of the programme and a workshop for beneficiaries in Accra, Mr John Duti, Team Leader of Invest for Jobs, said the programme was to create decent sustainable jobs and make the beneficiaries internationally competitive.
“It is important that Ghanaian SMEs, who form the backbone of our economy, constituting 85 per cent of businesses and contributing about 70 per cent of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are given the necessary capacity building in these areas to boost their productivity and help them create decent jobs.
“This is the goal of Invest for Jobs,” Mr Duti said.
He noted that there was a shift towards environmental sustainability and the green agenda, which was the core message of the SCORE programme in improving productivity through resource efficiency and cleaner production.
Recounting on the success of the first phase of the programme, the Team Lead said that the training and support given to the 60 SMEs and 30 micro-enterprises led to an improvement in working conditions for over 400 employees.
In 2021, Invest for Jobs through GIZ Ghana signed a Grant agreement with the MDPI to train 90 SMEs in Greater Accra, Central and Western regions with the aim of boosting their resource efficiency, productivity and their job-creation abilities.
With the support of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Switzerland and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), SCORE was first introduced in Ghana in 2011.