The National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI) is to implement an entrepreneurship support scheme to digitise the operations of 500 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The scheme will support SMEs financially and equip them with digitisation tools to enable them to enhance their operations.
The NBSSI is partnering with the German Development Agency (GIZ) to implement the scheme. It plans to roll out the scheme in the third week of October and run it until March 2021.
The executive director of the NBSSI, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, announced the launch of the scheme in Accra at an NBSSI round-table for female entrepreneurs who were sharing ideas on how best to grow their businesses.
The theme for the round table was “Going Digital: a Must to Building Resilience in the Age of Technology”.
Yankey-Ayeh highlighted the need for small and medium-sized enterprises, especially women-owned businesses, to embrace technology as a critical tool that will enable them to transform how they organise their operations.
Tchnology provides endless growth opportunities for SMEs, she said and so entrepreneurs need to incorporate it into the day-to-day running of their businesses.
“SMEs’ adoption of modern technology has been on the table for quite some time,” said Yankey-Ayeh. “COVID-19 only came to amplify it.
“During the lockdown periods, digital infrastructure became critical to mitigating the impact of stay-at-home restrictions. Digital technology offered not only alternatives, but also convenience.,”
Japanese work ethic
Beyond digitisation, Yankey-Ayeh said the NBSSI, with support from the Japanese government, is helping about 200 SMEs under the Kaizen project.
“Kaizen” is a Japanese word which means continuous improvement. It is used to describe a company culture in which each individual in an institution, from the chief executive officer to the front-desk staff, regularly evaluates their own work to improve on their performance.
To implement the concept successfully, it is compulsory for all employees to receive basic training and guidelines on what to do to enhance quality and productivity in the workplace.
“We have been working across the country with over 200 businesses under the Kaizen project. Now, we have been given contract expansion for the next five years so we intend to expand our scope to reach more businesses,” Yankey-Ayeh said.