A social enterprise policy in perspective
Mr. Edwin Zu-Cudjoe, Executive Director, SE Ghana
A policy to promote social enterprises as a means to improve livelihoods, especially among young people, and to contribute significantly to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is in sight.
When completed, the Ghana Social Enterprise Policy Project will provide the administrative, regulatory, institutional and legal framework for the growth and development of the sector.
It is designed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) with support from Social Enterprise (SE) Ghana and other organizations.
As a result, a policy workshop was held in Accra to refresh participants’ understanding of social enterprise and to gather ideas that will be used to finalize the project.
Representatives of the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Employment and Labor, the Ministry of the Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the Secretariat of the National Service participated in the workshop.
Support for SMEs
The Executive Director of SE Ghana, Mr. Edwin Zu-Cudjoe, in an interview with the Daily Graphic at the workshop, observed that the policy was aimed at supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which were playing an increasing role. more vital in building more resilient communities. in the social enterprises sub-sector of the economy.
He said the policy was designed in the context of the Coordinated Program of Economic and Social Development Policies and aligned with the SDGs and other development programs and strategies that aimed to develop a thriving private sector and robust SMEs.
He said there was an emerging social enterprise sub-sector that had grown steadily over the years, but at a slow pace.
According to him, this policy was to become a major driver of innovative local companies managed or owned whose strategic objectives included meeting the challenges of sustainable development, increasing productivity and contributing to the construction of communities and resilient local economies. .
Zu-Cudjoe called for the creation of a private sector-led impact fund to pool patient, low-cost funds that social enterprises will use to unlock their potential as global giants.
He said that although social enterprises are the future of entrepreneurship and industrialization in the country, the current financial structure has failed to embrace their peculiarities, resulting in the inability of these enterprises to access the funds for growth and survival.
He explained that this limited their survival and growth rate, which resulted in the majority of them either being marginalized or declining in their early years in business.
Therefore, the Executive Director of SE Ghana said that discussions are underway with relevant stakeholders to help create an enabling environment which will lead to the establishment of the impact fund.
The decision is to expedite the creation of the proposed fund to provide long-term financing to social enterprises and other enterprises that have reported on social impact.
He added that it was necessary to increase investments in the industry to allow social enterprises to have cheaper sources of funds to improve their operations.