The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has said over 11,000 micro and small scale businesses and individuals have benefitted from skill training workshops, business management trainings, market linkages, business advisory services as well as the Kaizen Project in the Ashanti Region.
According to the NBSSI, these achievements were chalked despite some persistent challenges which confronted some 29 Business Advisory Centers (BACs), in the execution of their planned activities and programmes for the year.
The Kaizen Project, which was a major focus during the year, was introduced by the Japanese Government and facilitated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in partnership with the NBSSI.
The project aims to continuously instill effective workplace practices, efficiency and judicious use of resources towards an overall operational improvement in the work, of beneficiaries.
The Regional Manager of NBSSI, Bashir Manu, in an interview during the opening ceremony of a beads training workshop, organized by the Metro Business Advisory Centre, in Kumasi, said the programmes for the year has ‘largely been successful,’ and recognized the contribution of the Rural Enterprise Programme towards their operations.
Notwithstanding some funding also from the Export Trade, Agricultural and Industrial Fund (EDAIF), he bemoaned the inability of the Metro BAC to attract readily financial support unlike the other BACs enjoyed from the Rural Enterprise Programme, to embark on its activities.
He noted records keeping remains a major challenge facing many small and micro and micro businesses and entrepreneurs. He said this has been the bane of many small businesses to attract financial investment despite the proliferation of banks in the country.
But he, however, maintained that the NBSSI continues to engage small business operators and its beneficiaries in business management workshops with a focus on pricing, cost and records.
“Once business people are able to have their records intact it becomes a bit easier to access credit from whichever place,” he stated.
He expressed appreciation to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) for funding the Metro BAC to organize the workshop, and was hopeful that the new government will continue to make resources available to the NBSSI.
He advised the participants, 30 women, to commit to acquiring the necessary skills that can help them to become self-employed and possibly also employ others.
He was hopeful that the workshop will empower the women in many ways to also contribute significantly to the local economy.
The Head of the Metro Business Advisory Centre,Mr. Michael Odartei Golightly, noted that skill acquisition is one of the avenues that can help to fight the unemployment in the system.
However, he disclosed that funds to actualize the training programmes, has been a challenge.
But going forward, he was hopeful that given the mandate of the NBSSI to ensure the total development of micro and small scale businesses, more funds will be committed in the coming years to help the BACs to meet its targets.
In all, about 30 women were selected to be part of the one week beads training which received funding from KMA.
Mr. Golightly said follows up are conducted after such programmes to ensure that participants are making use of the trainings.
He was also hopeful that other persons would also benefit from businesses that will be set up by participants.