DEVELOPMENT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN GHANA: THE WAY FORWARD
Entrepreneurship is the most powerful economic force known to mankind. The Entrepreneurial Revolution that captured our imagination during the 1990s has now permeated every aspect of business thinking and planning. As exemplified by industry players and era definers like Sam Walton of Wal-Mart, Fred Smith of FedEx, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Alhaji Asuma Banda of Antrak Group of Companies, Mike Adenuga Jnr of Globacom, and Kofi Amoabeng of UT Financial Services, the applications of creativity, risk taking, innovation, and passion lead the way to economic development far greater than anyone could imagine. Entrepreneurship is the process of creating or seizing an opportunity and pursuing it regardless of the resources currently controlled. Entrepreneurship is the process of creating something new with value by devoting the necessary time and effort, assuming the accompanying financial, psychic, and social risks, and receiving the resulting rewards of monetary and personal satisfaction and independence.
Challenges to entrepreneurship development in Ghana
It is apparent that entrepreneurial activity is beneficial for Ghana both at a micro level in terms of creating stable and sustainable employment for individuals and at a macro level where it significantly increases a nation's GDP. Yet Ghana has been unable to create and maintain the favourable environment needed to foster SMME development. There are a number of barriers which entrepreneurs in Ghana face. According to Bridges.org (2002), the factors affecting entrepreneurial activity can generally be divided into four categories and these portray the exact situation in Ghana:
Infrastructure: Quite often the barriers to starting and maintaining a business come down to simple, yet often insurmountable factors, such as lack of roads, electricity, water and other facilities. This challenge is very much a nation-wide phenomenon.
Legal and regulatory framework: Governments need to have a positive perception of entrepreneurial activity, reduce the administrative burden on entrepreneurs, and coordinate among their agencies to ensure that the necessary resources are directed where they are needed. This challenge is made worse by the cumbersome nature of business registration procedures in the country. According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2007 indicators, it takes 12 procedures and 81days to start a business in Ghana. The centralization of the registration process at Accra also serves as an impediment to entrepreneurs’ efforts.
Financial support: A major stumbling block for many potential entrepreneurs at the lowest end of the economic spectrum is lack of access to the credit or seed funding necessary to start a business. Entrepreneurs who are starting up larger businesses face difficulty raising investment capital and a lack of sound market-based policies. The average lending rate in Ghana of 30% serves as disincentive to entrepreneurs. Aside the interest rate issue, bureaucracy also tends to discourage entrepreneurial spirit. Sourcing funds from the MASLOC goes through diverse bureaucracies which sometimes result in the politicization of the funds. Also, ignorance among entrepreneurs as to the availability of various sources of funds serves as another challenge in their quest for financial assistance.
Social: The concept of entrepreneurship is not native to every culture or society. The fear of failure can be a barrier. Creativity and innovation are not always valued traits. Ghana has social systems that create dependence and hopelessness. Women are discriminated against in this area generally on gender grounds. In our Ghanaian culture, the views of the child are generally not welcome. Such practices go a long way to stifle the creativity of the child as he or she matures.
An additional barrier is the overarching mindset that entrepreneurship cannot be taught, that it...
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