SMEs must explore avenues to add value to their products

By Afedzi Abdullah || Contributor
Business & Finance SMEs must explore avenues to add value to their products
OCT 19, 2021 LISTEN

Mrs. Ekua Akuffo Nkrumah, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Fashion Design and Textile, Cape Coast Technical University (CCTU) has encouraged Small and Medium Scale businesses to explore avenues to add value to their products.

They must also aim beyond the local market and employ other technologies and innovations that would increase production to maximize profit and to remain competitive in the global market.

Mrs. Nkrumah who was speaking on the theme “Enhancing entrepreneurship through vocational training” further encouraged small scale businesses to use social media as a tool to increase their customer base.

She was speaking at the 7th graduation ceremony of the Social Welfare Girls Vocational Training Centre in Cape Coast at the weekend where a total of 37 students were graduated with 33 of them completing with NABPTEX certificate and four completing with proficiency certificate from NVTI.

Mrs. Nkrumah noted that graduates who were involved in entrepreneurial activities in the informal sector faced challenges such as lack of knowledge of appropriate vocational skills, business accounting, administration, management and other soft skills.

As such, she said their success in business in the informal sector greatly depended on entrepreneurial management skills which they gained while in school through entrepreneurship courses.

She underscored the importance of entrepreneurship education and said it helped produced graduates who were sell-employed, catalysts for economic growth, create employment opportunities and were able to identify and exploit opportunities and inculcate the spirit of resilience.

“A combination of entrepreneurship skills and vocational skills should act as a major tool in mitigating unemployment and opening opportunities for self-employment and SMEs development”, she added.

Mrs. Nkrumah entreated businesses to look at sustainable ways of reducing the waste in the industry to increase profit and safeguard the environment.

She advised the graduands to be knowledgeable in their field of study and sharpen their skills and knowledge as new concepts kept evolving.

“Be abreast with new techniques, tools, equipment and materials pertaining to the industry and I believe you will excel in the job you have chosen to do”, she advised.

Mr. Tony Yoofi Pokoo-Aikins, Chairman of the Central Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry reminded the graduates of the unemployment situation in the country and challenged them to establish their own businesses.

According to him, Government was relying on the private sector to provide hands-on skills to increase the employability of the youth and challenged the new graduates to go out to create jobs to create wealth for themselves and to support the Government’s agenda.

He advised the prospective entrepreneurs not to sit in their own comfort zone but link up with organizations that would build their capacity to grow their business.

He advised parents and guardians, friends and family members to offer the necessary support and help to their vocational school graduates as they sought to establish and sustain their business, saying they needed maximum support to be able to stand on their feet.

Dr Comfort Asare, National Director, Department of Social Welfare, underscored the importance of resource management and advised the graduands not to spend their money on unnecessary things but invest it to expand their business.

Madam Diana Atswei Sowah, the Centre Manger appealed to the individuals to come to the aid of the school as it lacked infrastructure and industrial machines to aid practical and theoretical training of the students.

She the school needed enough classrooms, hostel for students, practical halls and ICT laboratory

Azamati Mizpa Edem, Head prefect of the school noted that students in vocational education were at an advantage after completion compared to their colleagues in mainstream senior high school because they had received both practical and theoretical training.

She called on parents and guardians to embrace and support their children who wished to pursue vocational education rather than coercing them to pursue other courses at the senior high school.

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