Business owners have met to discuss the sustainability plan of the Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises (SCORE) project to improve upon quality, productivity, and competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.
The SCORE project is expected to end by the close of 2021.
The SCORE is an International Labour Organisation (ILO) global programme, introduced into the country in 2011 under three phases and had helped achieved remarkable progress in many business operations among SMEs in Ghana.
The two-day engagement, was, therefore, to help in strengthening the structures of implementing partners to facilitate the continuous of SCORE in the country.
Mr Samuel Onoma Asiedu, National Project Coordinator of the ILO SCORE Ghana Project, said with the project entering its third and final stage, it had become useful for operators to meet and plan its sustainability.
He said, five institutions that have mainstreamed SCORE into their dealings have been identified and equipped with tools to deliver services to SMEs.
They are expected to continue with its implementation and deliver its benefits when the main project ends.
The five institutions-the Management Planning Productivity Institute (MDPI), the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce (STCCI), the SCORE Training Solutions Ghana, HoCo Consult, and the Federation of Professional Trade Associations in Ghana, have come on board to see to the successful continuation of the project.
“We are sure going forward, when the project ends, these institutions will continue to deliver SCORE in the next phase,” Mr Asiedu said.
He explained that as the COVID-19 rages on, it was becoming more important to retool business development services to support SME’s to address the emerging challenges and take advantage of opportunities, saying, the impact of the pandemic had been very devastating on businesses.
“We, therefore, encourage SMEs, corporate bodies, multinational enterprises, and interested public institutions seeking to improve their performances to sign-up and enjoy the benefits of SCORE training,” Mr Asiedu added.
Mr Vincent Annan, Chief Executive Officer of the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, said the SCORE project had helped to reduce the business stress on businesses over the period for many SMEs including those in the manufacturing sector, water processing companies, palm oil refineries, fabricating industry, quarries, wood processing, and garment and dressmaking enterprises among others in the Western, Central and Brong Ahafo Regions.
He said the successes had been huge and that going forward, the hospitality and other tourism sectors were being targeted to be provided with capacity building, on site coaching, quality management, and records keeping training to monitor losses of businesses and provide the necessary advice to increase productivity, among others.
SCORE was launched in Ghana in 2011 with funding from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of Switzerland and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).
The SCORE activities have been implemented in various phases with Phase I, occurring from May 2011 to December 2013; Phase II, from January 2014 to October 2017; and Phase III, from November 2017 to October 2021.
Operators say key achievements from the SCORE training included increased productivity, cost reduction, improved delivery time, better working conditions, less waste, less defects, and a safer working environment.