Intervention Strategies and Activities

Institutional Framework

It is proposed to implement this programme within the Framework of Start-Up SME Centres (SSC) Ghana Ltd which will link up and coordinate other players into partnership, in view of its innovations and dynamism with the sector. SSC is a bottom-up Network of 50 Incubation, Accelerator, Capacity and Capital facilitation centres set up in all 16 regions of Ghana, also serving as ‘Local Financial intermediary’ and ‘investment facilitator’ (ITC, 2019, Big Money for Small business) for Start-Ups and SMEs to link up with Investors; ‘Local financial intermediaries – what the report calls ‘investment facilitators’ – are critical connectors between global finance and developing country SMEs  (ITC, 2019, p. 2, Big Money for Small business).

Strengthening Start-Up SME Centres (SSC) Ghana Ltd and other Local Intermediaries

Start-Up SME Centres (SSC) Ghana Ltd and other local intermediaries will be strengthened, through training for staff, systems development and provision of electronic Platforms( including data base of start-ups, SMEs and Investors-electronic market place), to enhance and support the 50 Physical Face-to-Face Centres which are accessible at the grassroots level. This is because ‘The stronger those facilitators are, the easier it is for foreign investors to assess the risks and opportunities of investing in local SMEs. This will not come as a surprise to finance specialists in the development community, who have long lamented the weakness of financial systems in the developing world’ (ITC, 2019, p. 2, Big Money for Small business); Therefore ‘Investing in strengthening investment facilitators like accelerators, investment promotion agencies or local financial institutions would have major multiplier effects’ (ITC, 2019, p. 2, Big Money for Small business).

Capacity Strengthening for Farmers, Cooperatives, Start-Ups and SMEs

Productivity, Profitability and Sustainability of Farmers, Cooperatives, Start-Ups and SMEs, Start-Ups and SMEs Investor Readiness and Integration of Start-Ups SMEs in Trade and Export Value Chain will be achieved through Capacity Strengthening of Start-Ups and SMEs in the form of the knowledge, resources, information, skills that entrepreneurs need to run their businesses, through training, coaching, mentoring and role modeling on entrepreneurship, business development, financial management, basic records keeping, filings of paper work with government, risks identification and management and support to develop business plans.

Special attention will be paid to the particular area of risk rating and management; for ‘to produce competitive returns, these financial intermediaries rely on accurate performance assessments of their SMEs. Providing high-quality credit information, through increased coverage of public registries for example, can help improve the efficiency of local financial institutions, encouraging more funds to invest in SMEs; New technologies, such as block chain technology, can play an important role’ (ITC, 2019, p. 7, Big Money for Small business).

SSC Knowledge and Capacity partner Institute of Certified Management Consultants (ICMC) Ghana (which doubles up as Business Development Service Providers Association of Ghana) will be pivotal to Start-Up and SME Capacity building.

Facilitation of Global Investment Capital to Farmers, Cooperatives, Start-Ups and SMEs

Facilitation of Investment Capital through identification of Farmers, Cooperatives, Start-Up and SME friendly Local Investment Funds and set up of specialised SME Investment Fund to channel Global Investment Capital will enhance accessibility of Global Investment Capital for Start-Ups and SMEs. This is important as ‘These local financial institutions have the ability to bundle thousands of small loans into larger sums, building a portfolio of sufficient size to entice large institutional investors ‘(ITC, 2019, p. 6, Big Money for Small business).

Linkage to Trade and Export Value Chains and Finance

Linkage to Trade and Export Finance will be achieved through Integration of Farmers, Cooperatives, Start-Ups SMEs in Trade and Export Value Chains. This is because ‘these enterprises generate more and better jobs when they can access new investments and build trade capacity and skills, and are empowered to become more competitive and connect to international markets’(ITC 2018).

Comprehensive Business Sustainability and Commitment to Responsible Business Conduct (RBC)

A unique feature of the SSC Model for its clients is taking a comprehensive look to sustainability of business practices. The SSC Comprehensive business sustainability Concept is that the Economic, Social and Environmental aspects of any Business are equally important and should be conceptually and practically handled as such. We need to have the freedom to make money, but also respect and treat people and our environment with dignity all at the same time. Environmental and social considerations should not be an afterthought to a business concept such as done in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), but in a social economy approach these should be elements in the very design of the Business strategy and Model. In fact a business model in all acceptable manner and modern paradigmatic fashion should have at least 3 pillars (3S of a Business) that the business is built, on an equal footing: Survivability, Sociability and Sustainability of business. SSC business Strategy and Model should thus be comprehensive and complete, looking at all three areas as equally important. It is possible to have a business on these 3 Footings therefore as its foundation

Research and Advocacy

Research and Advocacy will enhance Favourable Policy, Legal and regulatory environment for Start-Ups to thrive. This will be done undertaking policy research on the conditions, importance and effects of Farmers, Cooperatives, Start-Ups and SMEs and using that to rally around Multistakeholders such as Public Institutions, Private Sector, CSOs, Knowledge Institutions, Think-Tanks and Development Partners to enhance visibility for the conditions of Start-Ups and SMEs and the need for transformative change. Events that will be captured in the media, including video and TV series on Start-Ups and SMEs will be vital for this. Sustained evidence based advocacy for policy changes is the only sure hope for meaningful and transformative change for Farmers, Cooperatives, start-Ups and SMEs in Ghana.

  1. Productive and Profitable
  2. Sociable
  3. Sustainable

At the core of all these is corporate capacity; The Capacity of the Company to be productive, profitable, sociable and sustainable within and outside the company. And this Model should reflect in the business design, as a deliberate business strategy. If such a comprehensive and complete approach to business is taken, CSR becomes superfluous because it is in fact already taken care of in the business design so may not be added on as an afterthought. In practical terms this means having economic, social and environmental impact with our business and our client Start-Ups and SMEs from the scratch. It means doing our best to be concurrently productive, profitable, treating people and our environment equitably and fairly with respect to dignity, welfare and rights. This involves how we safeguard company survival, treat people in and out of the business with equality, equity and fairness, and protect our planet and solar system as a true global village, in which what we do in our company affects all other members of the globe directly or indirectly; thus giving meaning to real globalization of competition but also cooperation irrespective of people’s location and social characteristics.

This means that our Company and its clientele should be effective with their economic and financial results but also efficient in the use of  resources, and take good care of the people in the company in terms of fair and equitable compensation, working conditions, health and safety standards; treat people outside the company-Clients and customers with priority, with maximum satisfaction, consumer rights protection, health and safety in mind; and the people in the immediate community, Nation and the World in mind in terms of their stake in company activities, outcomes, negative and positive social and environmental impacts of business; In particular disaggregating company impacts on the different types of people and their special needs in and outside of the business, such as gender, age, geographical and vulnerability criteria.

This Model therefore also affects areas of business that we can have the comprehensive impact as much as possible, such as Food, Energy and Technology sectors or a combination of sectors in a comprehensive manner as indicated in the mix of entrepreneurship modules of SSC. For example  Farmers, Cooperatives, Start-up and SME business focusing on food and aquaculture production, processing and marketing locally and internationally and meeting International certification, premium markets and global standards including ISO if possible, integrating clean energy production and use in our facilities as applicable in Ghana, with relevant international partnerships and the additional Technological transfers and best practices adaptation in the Firm and the Country; claiming carbon   credits and fighting for compensation for environmental services provided out growers and small holders associated. These fit with SDGs such as goal 9, 12-15 on sustainable production and consumption patterns, protection of environment and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Institute of Certified Management Consultants (ICMC) Ghana, a subsidiary of NGAMANG Group, co-owner of ABI/SSC has developed Social Impact Management Framework, Environmental Impact Management Framework and Vulnerability Outline (Evaluation of Ghana’s Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals,2016-PFD-EU-GIZ). These Tools facilitate assessment, Implementation, Monitoring Evaluation, Management and Reporting of Social and Environmental impacts of Projects and activities or business and organizations. These Tools conform to standards set out European Investment Bank (EIB) and others in International best practice, and will be used to improve social and environmental management of the projects and its Multistakeholders and participants

Outputs, Outcomes and Impacts 2019-2028

  1. Productivity, Profitability and Sustainability of 1000 Farmers, Cooperatives, Start-Ups and SMEs
  2. 1000 Farmers, Cooperatives, Start-Ups and SMEs Investor Readiness
  3. Accessibility of Investment Capital to 1000 Farmers, Cooperatives, Start-Ups and SMEs
  4. Integration of 1000 Farmers, Cooperatives, Start-Ups SMEs in Trade and Export Value Chains
  5. Favourable Policy, Legal and regulatory environment and Enhanced Investment Climate for Farmers, Cooperatives, Start-Ups and SMEs to thrive.
  6. Improved employment and jobs, increased incomes, reduced poverty, invigorated and galvanized local and national economy and increased achievement of SDG goal 8, 10 and overall ,’leaving no one behind’

Conclusion

In conclusion there is the need to focus on Conditioning Measures for Enhanced Investment Climate for Start-Ups and SMEs. This programme will do a lot to contribute its quota to the conditioning measures required to enhance Investor confidence in Farmers, Cooperatives, Start-Ups and SMEs in Ghana, as ‘there is a need to demystify the investment landscape on the continent and centre the discourse on the role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs employ the vast majority of any local labour force and have an integral role in any sustainable growth trajectory. At the International Trade Centre (ITC), we often refer to SMEs as ‘the missing link’ for inclusive growth’ (ITC, 2018). In addition ‘Informality is also a problem: investors cannot invest in unregistered firms, which make up a significant share of African SMEs and cannot raise funds through formal channels.’ (ITC 2018) Moreover, ‘good financial records are needed to prove performance claims’ (ITC2018). All the above efforts at formalizing the Farmers, Cooperatives, Start-Ups and SMEs and making them more accessible and integrated into formal systems and global markets will go a long way to condition an enhanced Investment Climate for Farmers, Cooperatives, Start-Ups and SMEs to develop for shared Growth and sustainable economic development in addressing poverty, providing jobs and incomes and invigorating local and National economies to growth paths of no return.