The Chief Executive Officer of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), Kosi Yankey Ayeh, has urged financial institutions that offer loans to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SMEs, to consider empowering them through skills development before offering them credit.
She says this will provide a better guarantee for the capacity of the businesses to put the money to good use and repay without any hitches.
“The training is very important because with most entrepreneurs, the first thing is they need funding, but then we need to build capacity of the entrepreneurs. We need to strengthen them so that when there is even funding, they can use it to support”, she said.
She noted that with her outfit, “The beauty of our project is not handing over funding, but it is really building the capacity and systems. In the previous cases, we would provide support for certain things that will make productivity increase within their businesses, and that is what we intend to do continuously, to work with various finance houses and banks to strengthen and provide funding for them”.
She was speaking to Citi business News at the sidelines of the Kaizen for women conference in Accra.
The conference was in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and was on the theme “Kaizen as a tool for women’s economic empowerment”.
Senior Representative of JICA, Ozawa Maki, said “We believe this tool is sustainable and can help in development”.
Since late 2000s, Kaizen has been promoted in several countries in African continent for quality and productivity improvement (QPI) with the technical support of JICA.
Particularly in recent years, the achievement of Kaizen attracted the interest of an increasing number of governments in Africa.
In 2017, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency and JICA launched Africa Kaizen Initiative (AKI) at the occasion of the Knowledge Sharing Seminar held in Nairobi in April 2017.
The seminar in 2018 was renamed as Africa Kaizen Annual Conference and was held in Durban, South Africa jointly organized by JICA and NEPAD.
Among other things, the conference seeks to promote and upgrade Kaizen/QPI practices in African countries through; mutual learning process of the know-how and practical experiences of Kaizen/QPI activities in Africa and in the world; strengthening and expanding network among Kaizen/QPI practitioners, promoters and researchers at the global level; comprehending and conveying key messages from Kaizen/QPI promoters and practitioners to African heads of states and policy makers, and creating a venue to demonstrate high quality and productivity of work at the Kaizen conference based on Kaizen mind-set and practices.