The Church of Pentecost (COP) has launched a trade exhibition in Ghana to showcase businesses operated by its members and others from various churches in the country.
The fair, which is dubbed �Pentecost International Trade Exhibition 2012 (PENTEX 2012), is slated from August 31 to September 9, 2012 at the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre under the theme, �Accelerating the growth of entrepreneurship and industry for sustainable development.�
PENTEX 2012, which is an initiative of the men�s fellowship of the Church of Pentecost, is expected to attract over 600 businesses from the country and beyond.
Apostle Dr. Opuku Onyinah, whose speech was read on his behalf, stated it is expected that PENTEX 2012, the first to be organized by a church, would provide a platform to unearth new and budding business-minded people and also set in motion a network to blossom the entrepreneurial spirit of the public.
The church, he said, has been at the forefront in championing the spiritual growth of Ghana.
�Over the years, our Church has involved herself in other growth areas such as educational, health and other social intervention.�
Professor William Otoo Ellis, Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), who was the guest speaker, said entrepreneurship is key to any developing economy due to the strategic niche entrepreneurs play in the transformation of countries and the creation of jobs.
Traditional reliance on natural resources is insufficient to support long-term growth, and it is mainly through entrepreneurship and innovative economic management to enhance competitiveness. Lack of requisite government support and the creation of the right environment as well as the innovation and creativity also threaten the growth of businesses, he indicated.
�Access to capital is one of the challenging barriers to accelerating entrepreneurship growth in the country. This is even more difficult for young and upcoming entrepreneurs who lack the requisite security and experience to access loan facility from the financial institutions.�
Professor Ellis therefore called on government and the private sector to consider the establishment of low or interest free loan schemes to provide greater access to capital to entrepreneurs.
Nii Armah Ashitey, Greater Accra Regional Minister, in a remark, commended the church for championing the growth of the private sector as well as complementing government�s efforts in all spheres.
The entrepreneurial sector in Ghana, he said, has been experiencing negative growth over the years and citied periodic collapse of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs).
�Made in Ghana goods face stiff competition from cheap and inferior goods from outside the country,� the regional minister said and mentioned other factors such as the high cost of production.
Source: Emelia Ennin Abbey
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