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22.02.2009 Business & Finance

Business environment not supportive of SMEs


Prospects for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the Volta Region are low, compared with other regions, a survey of SME Executives in the region in 2008 has indicated.

The findings were contained in a report presented at the Volta Regional Validation Workshop organised by the Association of Ghana Industries' (AGI) under its 'Agenda 2008' project.

The Project aims at fashioning out practical policy recommendations to central government and local governance authorities towards enhancing the business environment for SMEs in the country.

The survey showed that Volta region attracted the least attention from central Government, as well as Local Governance authorities in support of SMEs.

The region came ninth in infrastructure support for the SMEs, eighth in human capital, labour relations, education and the financial environment.

The Region is also rated ninth in innovation and technology, security, legal environment and business ethics and landownership.

The region was tenth in the promotion of SMEs and Tax administration.

Mr Razaaque Animashaun, Chief Executive Officer of BiG, a consultancy firm, who presented the report, said the situation showed a bleak future for the region's SMEs.

It also posed a critical challenge which requires policy recommendations in order to reverse.

“The outlook does not make the region an attractive destination for investment”.

Mr Cletus Korsiba, Executive Director of the AGI appealed to the media in the region to focus on promoting SMEs operating there.

He said prospective investors would assess the performance of SMEs in particular localities before deciding to establish in those areas hence the need to change the profile of SMEs in Ghana in general.

“We want constructive engagement,” he said and expressed hope that the media in the region would provide the platform for SMEs to engage with policy makers and implementers in order to grow the sector.

He held that the media could benefit immensely from a viable SME sector, saying the unfavourable environment for SMEs in the region was also causing a brain drain to other regions.