The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has built a national database to provide up-to-date information on the operations and activities of micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
So far, the details of 900,000 small businesses have been placed on the database as efforts are underway to capture more SMEs.
The Executive Director of NBSSI, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, who made this known at an MSMEs clinic organised by the Graphic Business and Access Bank Ghana yesterday in Accra, observed that the database allowed the board to have a proper understanding of the sector for the purposes of policy initiation and implementation.
He said it was the first time the board had been successful in developing a national database on MSMEs and it was aided by technology.
“This is the first time in the history of the Board that we have had a digital platform to register people across country.
“And, so when the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) broke out and the GH¢750 million Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAP-BuSS) was set up, we created a digital platform for MSMEs to register and benefit from the stimulus package.
“Through that, we have been able to build a database of 900,000 MSMEs in Ghana,” she said.
According to her, the relevance of that database cannot be underestimated because it’s the first-time technology has allowed the board to have a clear view of the number of MSMEs in Ghana.
Following measures put in place, Mrs Yankey-Ayeh observed that the country’s MSME sector would soon receive an improved service from a stronger partnership between the government and the private sector.
She said the agenda being championed by the NBSSI was aimed at making the sector a stronger pillar for economic growth.
“Indeed, we can use digital solutions to integrate our MSME sector and accelerate the growth that is needed.
“But we cannot do that in isolation, this is why we are collaborating with organisations such as the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI).
“The intention of the board is mainly for the development of the sector and formalise more businesses so we shall collaborate to give them better and improved services,” she said.
The Executive Director noted that the new normal requires that MSMEs begin to reengineer their mindset to face the future.
Going forward, she expressed the hope that MSMEs would be innovative and learn new ways of developing products, market their products, and source for partnerships to expand their operations.
Access Bank support
The Divisional Head of Retail Banking at Access Bank Ghana, Mr Stephen Abban, reiterated the commitment of the bank to continuously support the government to build a resilient economy that could benefit MSMEs.
According to him, the bank had designed many digital solutions for its MSME customer base.
Due to this, he said management of the bank was happy to welcome them to explore some of these solutions to access cheaper funds to improve their operations.
“Over a decade of banking in Ghana, our work has showed that digitalisation offers tremendous opportunities to increase productivity and create jobs.
“The digital economy offers new opportunities for scaling up and reducing cost including the creation of new business models that can challenge existing ones,” he said.
He stated that MSMEs in the country needed a more user-friendly solutions that could help them improve in their digital processes.
“That was the reason Access Bank has introduced a number of digital solutions to support its MSME customers,” Mr Abban added.