Business owners have met to discuss the sustainability plan of the Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) project to improve upon productivity and competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.
The two-day engagement is to also help in strengthening the structures of implementing partners to facilitate the continuous of SCORE in the country.
SCORE was launched in Ghana in 2011 with funding from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of Switzerland, and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD); and since then, SCORE activities have been implemented in various phases – Phases 1, 2 and 3 which ends at the close of 2021.
Speaking to the press on the rationale for the meeting, National Project Coordinator of the ILO SCORE Ghana Project, Mr. Samuel Onoma Asiedu, said it has become necessary for operators to meet and propose plans to sustain the project as it enters its third and final stage.
“As the COVID-19 rages on, it was becoming more important to retool business development services to support SME’s to address the emerging challenges and take advantage of opportunities. The impact of the pandemic has been very devastating on businesses, thus the need to strategize. We, therefore, encourage SMEs, corporate bodies, multinational enterprises, and interested public institutions seeking to improve their performances to sign-up and enjoy the benefits of SCORE training,” he said.
He stated that five institutions are employing SCORE strategies into their business plans and have been equipped with tools to deliver services to SMEs.
They are expected to continue with its implementation and deliver its benefits when the main project ends.
The five institutions include, the Management Planning Productivity Institute (MDPI), the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce (STCCI), the SCORE Training Solutions Ghana, HoCo Consult, and the Federation of Professional Trade Associations in Ghana, have come on board to see to the successful continuation of the project.
Chief Executive Officer of the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, STCCI, Mr. Vincent Annan, also explained how the SCORE project has helped reduce business stress on businesses over the period for many SMEs within the Western Region.
“The successes has been huge. Going forward, we are targeting the hospitality and tourism sectors as they have been one of the major sectors that has been affected by COVID-19,” he added.