The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has encouraged owners of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) to take advantage of the €1.5 million Covid-19 SME Innovation and Digitalisation Support Scheme which seeks to promote process, efficiency, and competitiveness of SME through digitalization.
According to the government agency, businesses have until January 29, 2021, to apply for the intervention which is geared towards creating a conducive and digitalized business environment for the rapid growth of SMEs in the country.
The project formed part of the government’s strategy to help businesses adapt to emerging market challenges arising amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The scheme, which was funded by German Development Agency, GIZ, under its Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation, was expected to equip more than 500 SMEs and sustain at least 1,600 jobs in the medium to long term.
Eligibility criteria for application include formal registration of the business, SMEs should be growth-oriented, must have a minimum of six employees, commitment to participate in project activities, and demonstration of Covid-19 impact on business.
Interested SMEs must also be willing to allow consultants to assess the digital gaps within their enterprise and to make a recommendation for adequate support needed.
Successful applicants will receive training in the use of digital software solutions and e-commerce applications for marketing, use of digital system/apps to adopt digital records keeping and accounting, use of e-platforms for business transactions, and the development of standardized SME Digital Transformation Playbook.
SME’s can access the application on the website of the NBSSI or the Business Advisory Centres located in the various districts of the country.
At the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between NBSSI and GIZ in November last year, the Executive Director of NBSSI, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, said that the digitalization of SMEs remained a front-burner issue on the SME policy agenda in the country.
“We stand a chance to better understand and learn more about the needs and challenges of SMEs, even beyond digitalization, to support the policy agenda,” she added.
The Head of Network for Inclusive Economic Development (NIED) Cluster at GIZ, Ghana, Gerald Gostkowski, also highlighted the devastating effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on SMEs in Ghana by saying that “the pandemic has clearly exposed the defects of digital transformation in Ghana, as can be seen in almost all countries around the world.”