Invest in Africa to celebrate high-performing SMEs at 2nd SME Excellence Awards

BY: Invest in Africa

Invest in Africa (IIA) will reward 10 Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who have excelled in various aspects of their businesses during the 2nd edition of its flagship event, the IIA SME Excellence Awards to be held in Accra on Friday 25th January 2019.

The event, which is under the theme; “Supporting SMEs – Key to Accelerating Inclusive Growth and Prosperity”, will have the Managing Director of Tullow Oil Ghana, Mr. Kweku Awotwi as the Special Guest Speaker.

The SME Excellence Awards is a platform that showcases and celebrates the achievements of successful businesses and individuals of entrepreneurial excellence who have experienced IIA’s three-prong model; ‘access to skills’, ‘access to markets’, and ‘access to finance’. Entry was therefore opened exclusively to IIA’s community of registered SMEs.

Ten awards are at stake. The awards are; Woman Entrepreneur, Young Entrepreneur, Sustainable Business of the Year, Business Transformation and Business Linkage awards. The rest are; Business Technology Growth, Business Innovation of the Year, Mentorship Recognition, Scale-up Business of the Year and the IIA Star Award for Excellence.

The Country Director of IIA Ghana, Mr. Clarence Nartey says three new award categories were added this year to expand the opportunities available for participating companies. “We have added the Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Mentorship Recognition and Business Technology Growth awards to ensure that we cover a broader scope of achievements that should be rewarded”, he stated.

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Mr. Nartey adds that the awards scheme is largely aimed at encouraging SMEs to grow beyond their current capacity through IIA’s core training and mentorship initiative – the Business Linkage Programme (BLP). “Our aim is to honour indigenous businesses who through our skills development programme, have demonstrated innovative potential and developed capacity to participate in supply chains of larger organisations in Ghana and across the world”, he emphasised. The BLP is funded by the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) SME division known as the Fund for Africa Private Sector Assistance (FAPA).

Two award winners at the maiden edition held in January 2018 say, winning their respective awards has afforded them the required credibility and exposure to grow their businesses.

Miss Ayisha Fuseini of Asheba Enterprise, winner of two awards; “Best Female Entrepreneur” and “Business Innovation of the Year” says, “winning these awards was a great recognition for my company at the time. It helped build the trust of my customers in New York and my partner in Spain. It also offered me opportunities to secure additional contracts” she added.

The winner of the ‘Best Transformation’ award last year, Mr. Emmanuel Abbey of AB Engineering is delighted about his award and the impact it has made on his company; “It has built the trust of existing clients, attracted new ones with huge portfolios and accessing competitive financial support has become easier for me” he explained.

The event will be attended by captains of industry and IIA’s partners – Tullow Oil Ghana, EY, AB & David Africa, MODEC Production Services Ghana JV, Ecobank Ghana, GCB, Barclays Ghana, MTN Business, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).