The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah has pledged government’s commitment to promote and support Social Enterprises to create jobs.
In his view, the move is to enhance economic development, as well as address social and environmental problems.
Dr Spio-Garbrah announced this at the launch of a Social Enterprise report in Accra under the auspices of and the British Council.
He underscored the high capacity of social enterprises to create jobs, transfer technology and create new products and services.
“The government of Ghana has a rural entrepreneurship program running in 161 districts, as well as opportunities for funding made-in-Ghana technology through the GRATIS Foundation,” the Trade Minister announced.
Dr Spio-Garbrah, however, cited the lack of finance and skills of staff as some of the problems facing Social Enterprises in the country and said they must be resolved.
The report dubbed “The state of Social Enterprises in Ghana” revealed that 98 social enterprises created 958 jobs and about 103,148 people were beneficiaries.
The report indicates that the terminology “Social Enterprise” which refers to businesses that pursue social impact and profit to varying degrees, is scarcely ever used by government, donors or businesses in Ghana even though the industry exists.
According to the report, “in terms of a need to address social challenges, there is no shortage of opportunities for Social Enterprises.”
The research report identifies and interviews 24 social enterprises, 29 support organisations and three United Kingdom-based stakeholders; their areas of operation were mainly in agriculture, ICT, health, education and skills training.
It identifies four main areas of focus to develop the Social Enterprise Landscape in Ghana; namely a thriving policy environment; capacity building for Social Enterprises; integrating Social Enterprises into higher education; and technical and financial support for Social Enterprises.
Head of the Ghana Social Enterprise Program at the British Council, Sydney Hushie, said the Ministry of Trade and the British Council were in partnership to streamline the operation of social enterprise in Ghana.
Also, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and co-founder of SE Ghana, Madam Amma Lartey, said the model would enable social entrepreneurs to achieve sustainable social impact.
“While there are many strong social entrepreneurs in Ghana working to tackle a variety of issues, and organizations supporting them yet the sector are not well organized and many social enterprises remain small,” she noted.
“It is exciting to see what began as grassroots movements now develop into an industry group, we believe that the private sector needs to be the driver of development in Ghana and social enterprise enables this development to happen in a deliberate sustainable way,” she added.