Govt will deepen partnership with social enterprises—Deputy Minister

BY: Maclean Kwofi
SE
Participants at the forum

A Deputy Minister of Finance, Mrs Abena Osei-Asare, has said the government will deepen the partnership with the private sector to help scale up businesses in the social enterprise space.

She said such a partnership would support the growth of the economy in the post-COVID-19 era.

“We need to invest in social enterprises, we need to sustain the investment into developing and increasing managerial skills of owners of social enterprises so they can grow strong businesses to support the economy,” Mrs Osei-Asare said at the second Ghana Social Enterprise Forum in Accra.

Forum

On the theme "Building Forward Stronger: The Time to Invest in Social Entrepreneurs is Now,” the forum created a platform for experts to share knowledge on how the country can explore ways to revitalise the economy following the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The discussions from the forum contributed towards efforts to build a stronger social enterprise base to support the economic recovery and chart a pathway to achieve a sustained economic growth.

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Economic transformation

The deputy minister stated that it was only after businesses in the social enterprise space grow that they could contribute to the development efforts of Ghana and lead in the transformation of the economy.

“The discussions at today’s forum should add and provide valuable insights into how to reach that goal of strong social enterprises contributing towards economic transformation.

“Social Enterprises are a very important part of the Ghanaian economy with an estimated 26,000 social enterprises according to the State of Social Enterprise in Ghana Report,” she said.

Economic recovery

According to her, the topic for the event is timely as the government is focusing on economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, creating a climate-friendly entrepreneurial state to address unemployment, digitalising the economy, developing livelihood skills and supporting entrepreneurship for economic growth and development.

“If we want to see economic transformation in Ghana, we need to invest in businesses. The role of any government in achieving economic transformation is the traditional responsibility of creating an enabling environment for investment in businesses.

“The same enabling environment allows businesses to thrive and prosper for wider economic growth.

“Under that environment, the private sector and entrepreneurs also need to explore avenues for development, innovate in all areas of operations, increase and improve skills in launching and growing profitable businesses, and becoming user-friendly businesses with improved customer services to attract the patronage of ordinary Ghanaians,” she said this in a speech read on her behalf.

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Social Enterprise policy

The Executive Director of SE Ghana, Mr Edwin Zu-Cudjoe, said the Ghana Social Enterprise policy has been developed to help promote social enterprises as a means to improve livelihoods, particularly among the youth, and contribute significantly to the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

He said when passed into law the policy will provide the administrative, regulatory, institutional and legal framework for the growth and development of the sector.

He said the policy was designed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) with support from Social Enterprise (SE) Ghana and other organisations.

The Board Chair of SE Ghana, Ms Amma Lartey, added that the forum was meant to energise social enterprises to grow and deliver impact despite the challenges they currently face.