Business News of Monday, 29 October 2018
Ghanaian businesses have been challenged to create, develop and sustain businesses that will survive beyond their founders.
They were urged to learn from what obtains in Europe, the Americas and Asia where businesses are sustained over several decades and contribute immensely to the economies of those countries.
The charge was given by the Minister for Business Development, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, at the maiden Ghana Business Summit held on the theme ‘Improving Business Standards and Good Corporate Governance in Ghana’.
The summit, which pooled captains of industry and young entrepreneurs, was under the aegis of the Ministry for Business Development, the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the Institute of Directors (IOD), Ghana, among other media outlets.
Most businesses in Ghana, Dr Awal lamented, failed to survive after their fifth years in operation, a development he described as detrimental and unhealthy for the economy.
According to the Minister, “75 percent of businesses we have in Ghana do not go beyond five years; the businesses do not live beyond their founders.”
The minister whose doctoral thesis was on Small-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) and succession planning for businesses called for partnership between the private sector and government to reverse the trend and “create generational businesses.”
The rate of business formation accounts for how many jobs are created; how much taxes are collected and determine the number of development projects that are executed.
Businesses urged to target bigger markets
Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world. Its average GDP growth of 5.2 percent consistently outpaces that of the rest of the world.
The Minister further challenged the business owners to look beyond the confines of the local Ghanaian market and take advantage of the numerous investment opportunities in the region.
They should take advantage of the West African market, with a population of about 300million.
Innovation key to creating generational businesses
If business owners will be able to create, develop and sustain their businesses over decades, they must be innovation driven, the Minister pointed out.
“We cannot continue the same business practices we were engaged in decades ago; our businesses will not grow,” Dr Awal told the entrepreneurs.
Businesses but develop quality management standards
Deputy Director General of the GSA, Dr Poku Adusei stressed the need for the young entrepreneurs to develop the required management standards in their organisations to avoid some of the recent happenings in the country’s banking sector.
He appealed to the business owners not to follow the “it’s business as usual” trend but develop long term plans for their businesses to achieve success.
Basic financial management skills critical for business success
Ms Comfort Oduro-Nyarko of the IOD attributed the inability of businesses to survive the odds to the lack of basic financial management skills.
“Many who have bank accounts fail to go for their banks statements and reconcile their revenues with their costs to see whether there are discrepancies,” she lamented.
She called for education of business owners on basic financial management skills, noting,” you may be a medical doctor but you will need some basic financial management skills so far as you want to be in business.”