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BUSINESS CLIMATE MAKING LOCAL BUSINESSES UNCOMPETITIVE

Industry players have said the current business environment does not favour the growth of indigenous enterprises, particularly noting rising interest rates coupled with the introduction of taxes on businesses.

 

This development, according to the entrepreneurs, cripples the ability of Ghanaian-owned businesses to compete effectively with foreign-owned businesses in the country.

The Chief Executive of Kencity Group, Kennedy Agyapong, for instance noted that while local businesses borrow from banks at high-interest rates of 26 to 30 percent, their foreign-owned competitor businesses take facilities at far lesser rates from their countries to operate in Ghana.

This, he said, gives them a competitive advantage to offer services or goods at much cheaper prices as compared to prices offered by local businesses.

The Assin North Member of Parliament also noted that poor business modules, weak managerial practices and bad attitudes of employees cannot be left out of the challenges impeding business growth.

Mr. Agyapong made these remarks as a discussant at the ‘Practitioner’s Engagement on Entrepreneurship Competencies’, a programme organised by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) School of Business and Kumasi Business Incubator.

Chief Executive of Vestor Oil Mills, Kwasi Nyamekye, also contributing to the topic observed that for manufacturing businesses in particular, taking credit facilities from banks at changing interest rates means servicing the loans at high rates.

This rising cost of doing business, he observed, impacts general business operations and the ability to sustain them going forward.

On his part, Chief Executive of Tonket Limited, Anthony Adu-Nketia – also on the panel, indicated the need to put in place a system that supports entrepreneurship in the country.

He opined that this will enable local businesses to effectively operate amid the turbulent economic times arising out of the current global crisis.

Chief Executive of Unijay Limited, Mrs. Janet Abobigu, said while she could not be supported to further her education, as a determined young lady the trade she learnt from the roadside complemented her desire to succeed as an entrepreneur and led to several opportunities.

She challenged students to identify opportunities in every challenging situation, and also not just focus on money but make themselves teachable.

While Mr. Nketsia proposed the setting-up of a fund by the university to receive occasional donations from successful entrepreneurs in support of start-ups from KNUST, Mr. Agyapong, on the other hand moved for periodic talent exhibitions to attract investment from interested investors.

The entrepreneurs, who were gathered to share their experiences with students of the university, recounted their small beginnings and the traits as entrepreneurs that kept them going.

The Dean of KNUST Business School, Prof. Nathaniel Boso, noted that the university finds it worrying when graduates are not able to secure employment in their various fields.

To help curb the situation, the entrepreneurship programme has been introduced to help students build specific entrepreneurial competencies.

It is in line with this that some captains of industry have been scheduled to periodically share their experiences with students.