SMEs hold maiden awards

Origin Company Limited in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry has held the first ever Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Ghana Awards to encourage and propel SMEs in the country to enhance their innovative ideas.

The award is to recognize outstanding achievements of SMEs and individuals to enhance their products and services and reinforce brands on the market.

The award on the theme: “Sustaining Ghana’s SMEs in a Globally Competitive Market” is also aimed at fostering competitiveness among individuals in the sector.

Mr Philip Oti Mensah, Managing Director of Union Savings and Loans and, lead sponsor of the event, said the idea of setting standards to honour the contribution of SMEs to the development of the economy had come to fruition.

He pointed out that Ghana’s economy is not being driven by the large companies but by everyday Ghanaians who have developed businesses through hard work to provide basic goods and services.

“Statistics gathered from the Registrar General’s Department, indicated that as many as 90 per cent of companies registered are Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), with about 80,000 registered limited liability companies and approximately 220,000 registered partnerships which all fall under the SMEs sector, and are providing employment to 80 per cent of Ghana’s labour force”, he added.

Mr Oti Mensah said in spite of the enormous contributions SMEs make to the economy of Ghana, their efforts are hardly recognised and there are no standards to measure what true success is, hence the initiative.

He said it was on this note that the Union has supported many SMEs in the sector with their 80 per cent loan portfolio to diversify across different sectors for development.

Mr Kweku Ricketts Hagan, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, commended the organisers for the bold initiative to provide a platform to celebrate the achievements made by SMEs that had excelled in the country.

He said SMEs importance in the development of the country cannot be underestimated since they account for about 80 to 90 per cent of registered businesses in the country.

Mr Hagan said the theme was appropriate since the twin forces of globalisation and liberalisation, which are sweeping across all parts of the world, make it imperative to build a robust SME sector that would stand the test of time.

He said SMEs over the years had played crucial roles in the economic growth of the country and had helped reduce poverty, thereby improving the livelihood of Ghanaians.

Mr. Hagan said government would strengthen institutions that provide support to SMEs to create a requisite and enabling environment to sustain the citizenry.

The best SMEs platinum award went to Koko King whilst Rising Star Award went to Agro Africa in the trade, services and industrial sector.

Eighteen other companies were also honoured with sector awards going to Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association, Reroy Cables, Koko King Company Limited, J&J Plastics Company Limited, Nalem Clothing, the Kings Group Company Limited, Joy Standard Schools and New Crystal Health Service.

Others include Safety World Engineering Consult Limited, Busac Fund, Horseman Shoes, Eden Tree Company Limited.

The Research awards went to Prof. Joshua Eden Naaba, a Lecturer at University of Ghana, FMSL, Joy Business, Heavy do Chop Bar and Spec Consult. GNA

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