Private Enterprise Federation (PEF) in its effort to engender and consolidate business growth and development at the district levels is implementing a programme to develop District Business Coalitions (DBC) in 3 selected pilot districts namely; Techiman, Ejura and Mampong in Ghana.
SME’s in Ghana face numerous challenges that impede on the growth and development of their respective businesses. Among these challenges are ineffective government policies and other related market factors that create an uncompetitive business environment. One key tool that developed economies use to advocate for government to effect policy changes is the creation of unified and strong private sector advocacy platforms that will influence decision making at all levels of the political hierarchy. These platforms bring together key experts from diverse groupings to build consensus on issues and also serve as the lead voice for the group.
In Ghana, this is not the case when it comes to business development at the district levels. The current capacities of business associations to effectively advocate for needed changes within the districts are non-existent and for that matter, they are ineffective in getting the attention of district public institutions and officials to adjust respective policies affecting businesses and also attend to the needs of the various business houses within the community. There is therefore a need for the development of business coalitions at district levels to serve as strong advocacy platforms that will be used as tools to influence policy formulation and changes as well.
The fragmented nature of Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the districts and by extension the associations that represent them make it difficult for them to effectively articulate their concerns to the respective public sector agencies. Existing MSMEs at the district levels are very vulnerable when it comes to how to effectively advocate policy formulation and changes that will enhance their profitability. Over the years, PEF has come to realize that most private sector businesses especially MSMEs in particular, are very ineffective in drumming home their concerns because of the lack of well-structured representative organizations especially at the district levels. There is therefore the need to build Business Coalitions that will bring together a wider range of business groupings into a common platform at the district levels consequently at the regional levels, to effectively advocate for changes.