Collaboration benefits small businesses in Ghana

16 November 2011

Business advisers develop skills at training programme to further help small and medium-sized enterprises in Ghana

Business advisers in Ghana have begun a five-week training course developed by the Commonwealth Secretariat and Ghana’s National Board for Small Scale Industry (NBSSI) to expand their help towards businesses developing in the country.

Fifty NBSSI advisers from centres across Ghana will take part in the training programme where they will improve their skills to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) develop new products and prepare business plans that are driven by the business's needs and market opportunities.

NBSSI is the top governmental body in Ghana promoting and developing the micro and small enterprises sector.

Speaking at the opening of the training programme, Commonwealth Secretariat Adviser Roland Charles said: “A new generation of Ghanaian SMEs is demanding more from business advisers. Ghanaian SMEs have the innovation and drive to succeed, there can be no doubt about this, but new complexities make it increasingly difficult to remain competitive. This is an area where skilled business advisers can be the difference between SME success and failure.”

Peter Wilson of Peter Wilson and Associates, the company responsible for the training, noted that the process of becoming a skilled and effective business adviser is immeasurably enhanced with proper training and a committment to continuous professional development.

“In the UK, for instance, the business support industry has well established standards for business advisers. Meeting these standards has become mandatory, and ensures that SME clients receive advice that is ethical and up-to date,” he said.

The programme brings together classroom training and practical work in the field. Upon completion, participants should be able to advise an SME anywhere in the world, and provide sound, professional business advice on new products and access to new markets.

NBSSI is the largest employer of business advisers in Ghana with over 500 staff operating from 110 business advisory centres. The Secretariat has been working with the NBSSI since 2009 to help it enhance its services for SMEs.