Social Enterprise Ghana, the national network of social entrepreneurs and hubs working to develop a thriving ecosystem for the development of social enterprises, has called on the government and financial institutions to invest in social entrepreneurs.
Edwin Zu-Cudjoe, the Executive Director of Social Enterprise Ghana made this call during the 2nd edition of the Ghana Social Enterprise Forum which was held at Tomreik Hotel in Accra on the Theme: “Building Forward Stronger: The time to invest in the social entrepreneur is now”.
The forum brought together about 300 entrepreneurs, hubs, impact investors, government officials and policymakers, students, researchers, and the media to dialogue and share ideas on the way forward for investing and supporting social entrepreneurs.
In the keynote address presented on behalf of the Deputy Minister of Finance, Abena Osei-Asare, a Director at the Ministry of Finance, Dr David Quist assured entrepreneurs of the government’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurs and business owners.
He said the government has introduced various programmes geared towards supporting young entrepreneurs and businesses, including the recently announced YouStart initiative, which will among other things, provide flexible finance to start or grow businesses.
Dr. Quist added that, while the government does its best to create an enabling environment for small businesses, the businesses must build their personal capacities, especially in customer care and support, to grow and maintain their customer base.
“Apart from government creating an enabling environment for private medium and small-scale enterprises and social enterprises, there are other environments needed to ensure business success. One is the workplace environment of safety and support for employees… The other enabling environment businesses require to ensure success in client and customer care and support,” he noted.
“While government will encourage Ghanaians to patronize made in Ghana goods and services, the businesses must attract and retain customers with customer care services. When approached and handled properly, a business entity is likely to attract customers and maintain customer base and extend coverage beyond the borders of the country,” he said.
The Forum had panel discussions on Women Entrepreneurs and their Impact for economic transformation, setting up funds to invest in social entrepreneurs and presentations on industry and academia collaboration for job creation.
There was also an Investor Dealsroom which saw about 35 businesses meeting up with 7 financial institutions for investment.
The financial institutions included Ecobank, Absa Bank, Fidelity Bank, Wangara, Afro Arab, Impact Capital and SheEquity.
There were about 18 businesses that exhibited their products and services.
Social Enterprise Ghana (SE Ghana) is the national network for high-impact social entrepreneurs in Ghana. SE Ghana has a current membership of 720 social enterprises operating in diverse sectors of climate-smart agribusiness, circular economy, health services, inclusive financial services, TVET, and education. SE Ghana advocates for business-friendly policies for social enterprises and supports members with training, research, access to skills, access to market, access to technology, and access to finance. SE Ghana has a goal of increasing funding to social enterprises by catalysing $1billion dollars for social enterprises in Ghana by 2030.