The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the globe economic system. Uncertainty has ravaged local and intercontinental trade with stock markets experience the heat and large enterprises working for protect.
Folks throughout the world are encouraged to remain home to protect against the unfold of Covid-19 although environment leaders are divided concerning the options of either conserving life or making it possible for financial activities to operate. In Ghana, the tale is no various.
The value of small businesses?
Modest and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the area overall economy, constituting 85% of companies. SMEs use more than 50 percent of the Ghanaian working populace and lead 70% to our Gross Domestic Solution (GDP). Business owners like myself have difficult decisions to make in these trying occasions, these types of as:
- Must we maintain our staff throughout this turbulent interval? or
- Should we merely preserve the remains of our treasured impressive businesses for a long run date.
Nicely, these inquiries are genuine since
- We have economical obligations to banking institutions, insurance, etc. which we have to honour no matter of the pandemic.
- Our landlords will not forego our rents for the months of lockdown, neither will our payments and subscriptions be suspended temporarily.
Government to the rescue?
If SMEs lead 70% to Ghana’s GDP, then it indicates these companies create $49 billion per year, averaging $4.1billion regular monthly. In a the latest governing administration stimulus bundle for local companies, six hundred (600) million Ghana cedis (USD105m) was allocated to cushion SMEs. Very well, that is a woeful 2.5% of what we created month to month. As to the standards to qualify for a part of this stimulus deal, your guess is as good as mine.
To be honest, our government is confronted with the problem in between providing Private Protective Tools (PPE) & other necessities to hospitals and saving enterprises to maintain the economic system. The former, I imagine needs a much more urgent attention…like President Nana Addo explained “we know how to carry the economic climate again to daily life what we do not know, is how to carry men and women back to everyday living.”
What can the entrepreneur do?
The laziest way out is to decrease our workers energy to conserve some charges and keep afloat, nevertheless SMEs are not like big organisations which can use and fire whenever. It is complicated to get the suitable skillset or teach them. Therefore, we operate like families.
SMEs are created on shared values together with caring for just about every other even in challenging times. It is time for these stimulating entrepreneurial passions we employed some a long time ago to start off our enterprises to be engaged the moment extra to quiet these turbulent waters.
My enterprise rather of sending the nonessential workers house alternatively formed a consensus to minimize salaries by 50% across board right until we get better, starting up with major administration. This variety of sacrifice is critical for SMEs simply because our finest energy is our labour force.
This disaster no doubt presents us with winners and losers. Even while the later outweighs the previous, a person matter is selected, the new winners are business owners as properly.
I can cite an illustration of a winner in an entrepreneur like Ama, a having difficulties seamstress in Madina who uncovered the golden option to make deal with masks from wonderful African prints, one of which I am wearing even though I generate this piece.
Veronica buckets are currently the toast of city! with other business people like Richard Kwarteng incorporating worth by applying photo voltaic powered engineering to dispense the cleaning soap and h2o for hand washing. Nicholas my very good buddy who operates an IT enterprise can barely get a snooze now due to the fact profits have skyrocketed with companies and religious companies heading virtual because of to the ban on social gatherings.
It is time to reassess our entrepreneurial journey, possibly revisit the drawing board to make a few modifications that will promise our boats are steered to the winning side for our collective entrepreneurial needs of financial freedom. This too shall pass…
The author is a serial entrepreneur, a consultant and a philanthropist. His enthusiasm is for the improvement of Africa by way of intense entrepreneurial initiatives. He runs a weblog and video collection called Think about.