Over 100 small and medium-scale businesses in the Ashanti Region have been introduced to creating decent jobs and improving eco-friendly products and productions in Ghana.
The GrEEn SME Networking Festival is the second of the series of workshops held in Kumasi aimed at promoting GrEEn business practices for a sustainable future.
The three-day festival witnessed the participation of 100 SMEs with an interest in eco-friendly manufacturing, mainly from the agro-processing, fashion and textile, and cosmetics sectors.
The SMEs participated in a series of business games and workshops on various eco-topics related to eco-friendly and how to build their businesses sustainably.
The Festival is organized by the Ghana Enterprise Agency in collaboration with Invest for Jobs, an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Business start-ups were given access to markets through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) and e-commerce with support from the German Alliance for Trade Facilitation and the Pan-African e-commerce, implemented by GIZ.
Team Lead for Invest for Jobs, John Duti indicated SMEs will be introduced to GrEEn production processes for their business.
“We are all witnesses to the effect of global warming. We see the harm we are all cause to the environment and its effects on us are grave. As part of activities, we are bringing these SMEs who constitute the large part of our private sector on board to tackle these climate changes,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Enterprises Agency, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh says sustainable businesses would ensure job creation.
“Those of us who are following events in other countries will notice that not only are we dealing with crisis caused by the effect of the Russian- Ukraine war nor the effects of the COVID Pandemic but real serious environmental challenges amidst heat waves causing wildfires, destroying lives and properties.
Sustainable business practices therefore become a moral imperative; and of course with the relevant tools and information will also make excellent business sense. This strategy falls in line with the government’s goal to create jobs for our teeming youth on a sustainable basis,” she said.
Ashanti Regional Manager of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, George Danquah Ameyaw, advised SMEs to sign-up at the authority to enhance their products for the international market.
“We need to make Ghana an industrialized country to become a self-reliant country. Our businesses need to add value to their products to increase their foreign reserves. I’m appealing to all SMEs, big or small, to register with the Ghana Exports Promotion Authority so that we can sit you down and walk you through the various steps where you can get to the level where you become an exporter.
The event saw participants engaged in business-to-business meetings, network with financial service providers and business associations, pitch business ideas, and participate in product exhibition events.
Some participants shared the benefits of the event.
“I’ve been able to learn a lot. It is through this festival that these owners of SMEs like myself are able to know more about what is expected of them on the market and the standards they need to follow to be able to put it out on the market and make more money and also grow the economy. This program is tuning us towards having our businesses cope with the SDGs,” one of the participants said.