Youth-owned Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) want government to ensure services provided by business support institutions such as the Registrar General Department (RGD), Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority effectively decentralised. 

At a just ended nationwide multi-stakeholder dialogue on business registration and certification, they called on the government to ensure the offices or services of these regulatory agencies are extended to the various districts for easy access and cost-efficiency. 

This call comes on the back of a survey that the Ghana Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs undertook.

The survey report revealed that most SMEs in Ghana are not able to register their businesses or acquire other business-related certifications, licenses or permits because of the associated high costs and inaccessible offices or services.

The survey report presented by the Chamber’s Chief Executive officer, Sherif Ghali, revealed that more youth-own SMEs are formalising(registering) their businesses. 

However, they are faced with challenges such as high cost, cumbersome procedures, extortion, unbearable turnaround time, rampant system downtimes, poor customer service, inaccessible offices, middlemen (Goro boys), fraud, unfriendly online portals, and Lack of coordination between agencies.

The dialogue sessions were held in the Ashanti, Northern, Western, and Greater Accra Regions by the Ghana Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs and its Partner, SNV Ghana, under the European Union-funded GrEEn Project.

Stakeholders deliberated on solutions to challenges SMEs faced in the business registration and certification process. It also offered stakeholders the opportunity to reflect on intriguing findings from the survey on the business regulatory environment in Ghana.

Similarly, cyber security was a prime area for discussions as SMEs were taken through cyber security measures to ensure their operations are safe within cyberspace. 

An interesting area of discussion was the introduction of participants to the concepts of green business, circular economy, eco-inclusive business modules, and the need to transition to green.

The dialogue sessions brought together about 250 stakeholders, including; SMEs, academia and the public agencies (RDG, GRA, FDA, MASLOC, GEA, GSA).

Subsequently, the chamber is expected to engage the government and Parliament on the recommendations from the SMEs.

It will also embark on advocacy actions and run more sensitization programs on cyber security, green economy, and business registration.