The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen has urged workers to start their own business ventures in their leisure time.
He observed that most workers who dedicated all their lives working for others and “thinking that that’s the end of the world” were found wanting after retirement.
“Remember very soon the time will come for you to retire and leave, and you cannot bequeath as a legacy your position to your children or family so let us all make an effort, to at least try something on our own,” he said.
While bearing in mind the herculean task of succeeding at entrepreneurship, he said the government was willing to provide an institutional support mechanism through the establishment of the Business Resource Centres (BRC) across the country.
Mr Kyerematen who launched the BRC also called on the Ministry of Finance to collaborate with the Bank of Ghana to provide a loan guarantee scheme that will provide liquidity for banks to support Micro Small Medium Enterprise (MSME).
“So, we all know that the lifeblood of every business is money. So again, I’m going to use this platform. Yes, I’m part of the government, but I’m making an appeal to the government, to myself and to my finance ministry on working together,” he added.
The BRC, which is strategically located across 67 districts in the country, is a one-stop enterprise support centre designed to provide Business Development Services (BDS) to new and existing entrepreneurs and enterprises.
The centres which also serve as finance and investment facilitation hub and information repository was established by the Ministry of Trade and Industry under the Rural Enterprise Programme (REP) with funding from the Government, the African Development Bank (AFDB) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Mr Kwasi Attah-Antwi, the National Director, Rural Enterprise Programme (REP), said the concept of BRC was formed as part of activities undertaken under the realignment of the REP which were consistent with the Government’s industrial transformation drive.
“This resulted in an additional funding of $40million for REP provided by IFAD, part of which was carved out to support the Institutional strengthening and transformation of NBSSI into a new Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA),” he said.
He noted that there were 37 BRCs which were operational since August 2020 with 30 facilities being constructed.
He added that “all BRCs are connected to standby Gensets, solar power, and boreholes. BRCs are also equipped with modern ICT equipment to support information and communication processes.”
Mr Hani El Sadani, the Country Director of IFAD, said supporting the country over the past four decades had led to the provision of loans and grants worth USD397 million for projects and programmes worth over USD1 billion.
“Ghana has the third largest IFAD support in the Western Central African region which has 23 countries next only to Nigeria,” he said.