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Being the drivers of local growth and job creation, small scale enterprises play an important role in addressing urgent development challenges related to sustainability and service delivery in the economy.
“Entrepreneurship creates new jobs and new businesses, new ways to deliver basic services, new ways of seeing the world, it’s the spark of prosperity,” according to USA former President, Barack Obama.
However, considering the crucial role of SMEs for development, Makola Institute was established with the focus on bridging the knowledge gap in the market environment by providing free basic management, building the capacity and technological skills and as well as low-cost consultancy services to a large number of traders and market operators in the country.
It was also established to support emerging entrepreneurs at each step of their journey by providing early-stage financing, technical training, and market intelligence.
In an exclusive interview with Mrs. Comfort Oduro-Nyarko, the CEO of the Makola Institute, She intimated that, two years down the lane the Institute through the hard work of its management, (The founder, Prof. Joseph Ofori-Dankwa and Herself), could testify that the awareness to excel in businesses had immensely been created for so many business operators across the region.
According to her, they moved to various Churches, Institutions and many Market places to inculcate into market operators the need to had basic financial management skills before they could succeed in their businesses.
“Thank God two (2) years down the lane, people are testifying to what we had exposed them to believe,” Mrs. Oduro-Nyarko said.
She however explained that, the institution started on a pilot bases where they trained about 50 traders, who are already excelling in their various businesses. Underpinning some of the challenges they are faced with, she said, “Our main challenge is infrastructure. Our current classroom is very small to even accommodate twenty (20) market operators at a go. Accessibility is also another problem ..a lot of these market operators prefers to have their tuitions a bit closer to their operational areas for easy access. So we started one at the Accra central (Makola), for the traders to easily access classes. Even at that, we found it difficult accommodating 20 peoples at a go, since we only have a 17-seater capacity classroom which is a very big challenge to us.”
According to Mrs.Oduro-Nyarko, She took the initiative to write proposals to concerned stakeholders and key partners in the business enclave in the country for the Institution to get a bigger place near the operational areas of these operators, but yet to receive a response from any of those she wrote to.
“Now, we are in collaboration with Knustford University at East Legion, which has some of the facilities available. Even though, the traders love to have the classes, but they find it very difficult to go for the classes at such a far distance. I’m just putting it across to people who are so kind hearted, who would want to help these trades who gets up at dawn to do businesses in the market places to excel and succeed to also come to our aid, so that we can also get a bigger classrooms and offices at the various market centers in order to attract the rest of the traders to also come and build their capacities,” She called.
In her submission, She also said there were many dealers in consumable goods at many market places across the country, who apart from inadequate access to credit, were faced with many challenges including high customer indebtedness, lacked good customer relations and other basic skills.
In the wake of this, Mrs. Comfort Oduro-Nyarko, underscored the need to spread the tentacles of the Institute across the length and breath of the country for the survival and efficiency of the traders.
She therefore, called for support from government, concerned stakeholders, the well endowed individuals and other corporate institutions to come to their aid in order to help realise the institute’s principal objective of improving upon the operational efficiencies within the market places and to provide assistance for national economic development.
Speaking to some of the new traders taking their classes at the Makola Institute in Accra when Ghananewsonline.com.gh visited, Mrs. Angela Brano, who is a business woman, said the institution had really come to redeem them from the numerous challenges they were faced with.
She said, “As at now, I have learnt a lot, this classes has helped me a lot to improve in my business. Now I can relate well with my customers in order to market her business, how to take stock and how to save. This classes has really helped me to expand my business.”
Mrs. Rebecca Abgenyegi, also an international business woman, shared what she had achieved since she started her studies at the Makola Institute. She revealed that, “We have been doing this business since Adam, traveling to Nigeria, China, Togo, Dubai and other places yet there is no improvement, we are always at a lose and standstill. But this school has opened my eyes to improve more in my business, I have learnt to enlarge my business today.”
She therefore, appealed to the government to help expand Makola Institute and extend it across the country for their colleague traders especially the women, to also get the exposure to the basic financial management skills.
“We will appreciate government if he gives ear to women in this country, especially by expanding Makola Institute for us, because women are key to national development. So if Makola Institute is well established nationwide, all traders will get the opportunity to also learn and build their capacities to the benefit of the country’s economic growth,” Madam Rebecca urged.
Source: Sammy Adjei || Ghananewsonline.com.gh