Mr L.D. Baicah, Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the National Board for Small-Scale Industries, has identified the lack of training and professional expertise as the major causes of low productivity of small-scale industries.
He said the engagement of professionals and routine training for staff had become indispensable in the competitive global economy and called on entrepreneurs to invest in those areas.
Mr Baicah was speaking at a day's sensitisation workshop on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) at Konongo in the Asante-Akim North District last Monday.
Thirty-three entrepreneurs drawn from Asante-Akim North and South Districts attended the workshop, which was organised by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development and President's Special Initiative.
According to Mr Baicah, the unavailability of the requisite expertise in SMEs had created a wider gap between them and well established organisations. He said 'As a result, financial institutions are reluctant to grant loans to SMEs to expand their businesses due to fear of mismanagement and misapplication of funds.'
He noted that government was encouraging financial institutions to fund SMEs through its economic policies to the advantage of entrepreneurs. Mr Baicah challenged SMEs to adopt prudent managerial policies as well as professional expertise to qualify them for loans.
Mrs Gifty Ohene-Konadu, Deputy Minister for Trade, Industry PSD and PSI, in a speech read on her behalf, said government was committed to promoting the private sector hence the introduction of numerous interventions.
Mrs Ohene-Konadu said access to finance was a perennial challenge for the SMEs and urged entrepreneurs to improve their businesses so that they could get credit facilities.
The Deputy Minister who is also the Member of Parliament for Asante-Akim South, entreated the participants to take advantage of the workshop to improve on their managerial skills so that they could assist alleviate poverty in the rural areas.
Mr Isaac Owusu Asante, Business Development Officer at the Asante-Akim South Office of the Business Advisory Centre, noted that some SMEs did not have business plans.
He said Government had put in place effective mechanisms to re-cover loans, adding that 65 per cent of the amount disbursed under the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy could not be recouped.