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NBSSI fast-tracking SME sector growth, creates 4,991 businesses in 2018

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Director, Women Entrepreneurship Development Department of the NBSSI, Ms Habiba Sumani
Director, Women Entrepreneurship Development Department of the NBSSI, Ms Habiba Sumani

The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) through its various business support initiatives last year aided the creation of about 4,991 businesses in the country.

The NBSSI provided training and other support systems to owners of these new firms which were under the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sector through its Business Development Services (BDS). It was for them to establish their own businesses.

The Director, Women Entrepreneurship Development Department of the NBSSI, Ms Habiba Sumani, made this known at a day's workshop on achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) through women empowerment on June 13 in Accra.

"We supported in the creation of 4,991 new businesses in the country, and we are looking forward to creating more this year," she said.

Beyond creation of businesses, she indicated that the NBSSI provided training and other BDS support to 56,780 individuals, including 34,778 females and 22,006 males.

"Our work at NBSSI also aligns with the objective of this workshop and SDGs outlined by the United Nations, particularly goals one, five, nine and 10," she said.

SDGs

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According to her, the board contributes to the eradication of poverty especially in rural communities, through its business development and support services being implemented by its network of offices at the district levels known as the Business Advisory.

She stated that the NBSSI has programmes which seek to develop young and potential entrepreneurs by providing them with apprenticeship and entrepreneurship training opportunities to help develop their capacity for job creation.

"This in the long run helps to reduce inequalities between privilege and the underserved, thereby help to reduce inequalities."

She noted that the goal five, which seeks to promote gender equality, reflected the focus of NBSSI in empowering women because the board has set up a department to concentrate on women entrepreneurship development.

As an agency responsible for the growth of SMEs, the director said the board has been instrumental in Ghana's private sector transformation agenda of becoming an industrialised country that, in the long-run, will help attain SDG goal nine.

“Our Business Advisory Centre scattered across the country supports the build-up of local industries, especially in the rural areas.”

“We are of the belief that this partnership will help us achieve our mutual goal of increasing the participation of women-owned businesses in the international trade and understand how SheTrade in partnership with NBSSI could facilitate and help communicate their contribution to women’s empowerment through trade.”

Women-owned businesses

A programme officer of the International Trade Centre, Mr Simon Balfe, told the media in an interview on the sidelines of the event that it had become necessary to support women-owned businesses for growth towards the attainment of the SDGs.

He said the SheTrades in the Commonwealth project, which was already a year older, would assist in connecting small business owned by women in each of the countries the projects were being implemented.

He said women-owned businesses were mobilised by communicating the concepts to targeted beneficiaries in the project countries through partners such as the media to publicise the opportunities available for women-owned businesses.

He urged businesses owned by women in the information technology, agriculture, tourism and textile sectors to register on the platform and take advantage of the available opportunities to maximise their revenue potentials.