With endemic unemployment in many African countries and the informal sector being one of the biggest employers across the region, entrepreneurship and the creation of small and medium-sized enterprises is recognized as a major driving force for pan-african development. Ghana's EMPRETEC programme has started off as a public-private partnership project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Barclays Bank Ghana Limited and the Government of Ghana in order to build skills of entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial and functional management competencies needed for growth. Today the company is entirely self-financing, and serves as a role model for other countries in the region who want to develop their advisory services around entrepreneurship and enterprise development.
Entrepreneurship and the creation of small and medium-sized enterprises is recognized as a major driving force for Panafrican development. As African countries are enhancing their capacity to finance their own development, they increasingly rely on domestic revenues and private consumption in local markets. Both factors have been growing exponentially in many countries over the past years. Nevertheless, decent jobs have remained at a very low level. With endemic unemployment rates in many countries, the informal sector remains the biggest employer across the region (estimated on average at 80% for Sub-Saharan Africa).
To foster entrepreneurship and enterprise development Ghana has joined the global EMPRETEC programme, a network of technological entrepreneurship pioneered in Latin America, since 1990. Building on this experience, The Gambia has carried out its own entrepreneurship and enterprise
development project between 2014 - 2017. Effort to consolidate gains and institutionalization for sustainability continue during current CPD 2017-2021. EMPRETEC Ghana, considered as a best practice model for enterprise development, has developed into a leading entrepreneurship and enterprise development agency, strongly committed to the development of a healthy private sector, with specific emphasis on Micro, Small and Medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Starting off as a public-private partnership project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Barclays Bank Ghana Limited and the Government of Ghana its initial focus was on building skills of entrepreneurs by providing training to improve the entrepreneurial and functional management competencies needed for growth. The programme has since been developed to include financial services along with a comprehensive range of business advisory and consultancy services and was registered as a company limited by guarantee in Ghana in 19941. The Ghanaian experience has served as a role model for other countries in the region. As such, EMPRETEC Ghana supported the establishment of EMPRETEC The Gambia, sharing its best practices with a delegation from the Gambia during a knowledge exchange and appraisal mission in May 2014, which was supported by UNDP. EMPRETEC-Ghana provided technical inputs in helping The Gambia finalize and sign a new project on “Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development” which was successfully signed with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment in 2014. The new integrated entrepreneurship and enterprise development project which aims at the support of employment creation, most particularly for women and youth. More specifically it aims at: i) Building and strengthen institutional capacities to implement entrepreneurship and enterprise development programmes; ii) Fostering the emergence and development of a sustainable productive and competitive private sector in The Gambia; and iii) Creating a platform to enhance stakeholder dialogue and advocacy for MSME development. By the end of the project in 2017, the terminal evaluation indicated: * 58 entrepreneurial workshops completed as compared to 50 planned; 1980 entrepreneurs trained in EMPRETEC Model out of a projected 1070; 300 farmers trained out of a projected 270; 3 Training of Trainers sessions held out of a projected 7; 10 Refresher courses held for Business Advisers out of a projected 6; 14 national trainers trained out of a projected 15, of which 12 have completed the required training and have been certified by UNCTAD; 125 Business Advisers were trained out of a projected 70; and 900 entrepreneurs and farmers advised out of a projected 700. Enhanced the job creation capacity of 1070 MSMEs; and * Through these activities contribute to generating at least 3,210 new jobs locally.
Supported by: UNDP, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Implemented by: Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment/Gambia Investment and Export Promotion Agency - The Gambia