Mr. Stephen Essien, Chief Business Officer for Tigo Business has indicated that Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) continue to contribute an estimated 70 percent to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP); thereby making it necessary for the creation of an enabling environment where these businesses can thrive to aid national development. Mr. Essien made this call at the Tigo sponsored 68th Barcamp in Accra, where he spoke to some startup businesses and a section of tertiary students on the topic "Empowering startups and SME's for national development”. He noted that apart from government ensuring a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, big corporate institutions including multi-nationals can do more to help small businesses grow and expand employment opportunities for Ghanaians. Using Tigo as an example, he spoke about how the company supports start-ups through several comprehensive communications solutions that help them to help increase market size, staff productivity, widen payment options and provide agility to differentiate on customer experience. Touching on the role young startup owners can play in securing funding to scale up, Mr. Essien admonished them to fully understand the terrain in the country, and develop a sustainable business plan. Beryl Hammond-Appiah, the Human Resource Director for Tigo, also advised the audience to set targets for their businesses and strategize to achieve those targets; as this would improve productivity. She further emphasized that it was important to have good professional values that includes integrity, reliability and accountability. “Your professional values are key to your productivity because they will ultimately define your business and differentiate you from the competition” she said. Barcamp is organized by the GhanaThink Foundation with support from Tigo Ghana. Over the years, it has sought to build a network of young change-makers and entrepreneurs through a series of forums held across the country.
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