Rector of Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, Professor Franklyn Manu, has stressed the need for governments to invest in smaller business to help grow the economy.
He said: “These smaller businesses are the drivers of every economy, unfortunately our governments over the years had not seen the importance of this sector and rather turned their attention on bigger businesses, both locally and foreign owned”.
He noted that those incentives, if re-directed to smaller businesses, would help address the unemployment problems facing most developing countries as well as grow their economy.
Prof. Manu, who was speaking at the launch of the Makola Institute, a training institute for traders in Accra, said market women and men understood the economics of doing business and the only thing they needed was encouragement to reduce the unemployment rate.
The Makola Institute is aimed at bridging the knowledge divides at the market place by providing free basic management and technological skills and low-cost consultancy services to large numbers of market place business operators.
These services and training programmes would be provided both in English and in the local languages throughout Ghana.
Prof Manu said the objective of teaching practical skills was very important for the survival and efficiency of the traders and commended the initiators for their vision and commitments.
He stressed the need to develop the skills of traders and entrepreneurs to become more efficient to grow the economy.
He urged financial institutions to look at the brilliant ideas behind those businesses instead of the collateral guarantee, adding; “it is about time we changed our thinking about our traders in Makola”.
Prof Joseph Ofori-Dankwa, the Executive Chairman and Founder of Makola Institute, said the institute sought to transfer business survival and growth principles from the market place to corporate institutions, schools and religious groups.
He explained that the name “Makola” is used as a metaphor, symbolic of market places all over Ghana and Africa and is in partnership with the Street Education Project to achieve their goals.
Prof. Ofori-Dankwa said there were multiple knowledge divides such as technological, linguistic, and economic which existed between market place business operators and its wider societal stakeholders that needed to be bridged.
He expressed gratitude to the Board of Directors, family, friends and all those who made the dream a reality.
“The Makola Institute has come to stay and I urge all to contribute through knowledge-sharing, financial and prayerful support in order to help realise the Institute’s principal objective of improving upon the operational efficiencies within the market places and thus provide assistance for national and community development,” Prof. Ofori-Dankwa said.
Mrs Comfort Oduro-Nyarko, the Chief Executive Officer of Makola Institute, recounted her trauma as a trader at the Makola and Kaneshie markets and how she overcame major obstacles and hurdles.
She expressed her heart felt gratitude to the Founder, families, friends and church members who stood for her during her difficult times and also assisted her to achieve her goals in life.
Mr Rchard Yaw Asante, of Asante and Asante Limited, dealers in consumable goods at Medina Market, was one of the two award winners for his dedication and resilience in the face of frustrations at the market place for close to three decades.
He said apart from access to credit, they also had problem with their customers and employers as they were not trustworthy and sometimes took their goods away without paying them.
Mr Asante said the Makola Institute had come to redeem them from some of their challenges and was grateful to it for the recognition.
He, therefore, urged the authorities to allow the system to deal with criminals who had been duping businesses to face the full rigors of the law, saying, “these criminal activities are bringing most successful businesses down”.
The Makola Institute has offices in Makola and Kaneshie markets and would be extended to other markets across the country in future.
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