Government has opened Business resource centres in selected districts across the country to support the needs of businesses in the Micro and small enterprises (MSE) sector.
To minimise unemployment
At the opening of one of the centres, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremateng, the Minister for Trade and Industry said government was poised to eradicate the chunk unemployment canker, thereby constructing business resources centres to provide the needed assistance to entrepreneurs and business establishments.
This, together with the One District-One Factory (1D1F) initiative aimed at increasing job and employment opportunities for the youth to improve livelihoods and strengthen the economic sector.
He explained that 67 of the business resources centres were being constructed with 37 already inaugurated, while the remaining would be ready for inauguration soon.
He said the Centres would not only serve as support and guide giving points for small and medium scale enterprises, but also create job avenues for unemployed Ghanaians.
It is a rural enterprise programme to ensure enhanced quality of products and services at the local level, he added.
The business resource centres are under the direct administration of the National Board for Small Scale Industries, NBSSI. The NBSSI was established by an Act of the Parliament of the Third Republic of Ghana (Act 434 of 1981). It commenced operations in 1985, thirty-five years ago with the mandate to support the growth the MSEs.
However, businesses in the micro and small enterprise sector have hardly benefited from the full scale of services mandated to the NBSSI for the last thirty-five years. The struggles of businesses, particularly in areas of access to finance, availability of resources, and the ability to set-up fully functional businesses are very prevalent.
The existence of NBSSI has not made much difference in easing the burdens of small businesses. The institution has become a “sleeping giant” in the faces of the businesses it is mandated to serve. Until the recent few years, the Business Advisory Centers (BAC), under the NBSSI, had been barely functional and very little heard of the name NBSSI. In fact, one is not sure about the difference between the already existing BACs and the newly introduced business resource centers.
The NBSSI’s role in the recent introduction of Government’s stimulus package to small and micro businesses hit by Covid-19 crises, seemed to have shot them up quite significantly. But in the aftermath of the COVID-19 stimulus and related events, businesses would expect a lot more from the NBSSI and especially the newly introduced business resource centers.
It is hoped that the Business resource centers, will not tread this path of laxity seen of the BACs, only time, however, will tell the story.