By PLAN Communications
Dr. Sampson Effah Apraku, Executive Chairman of Samara Group of Company, producers of the Sasso Insecticide brand, has picked up the ‘General Merchant Entrepreneur’ Award at the prestigious Ghana Entrepreneur Awards 2016 held in Accra last week.
The Award seeks to appreciate Dr. Apraku’s efforts of being creative, innovative and nurturing the vision to create employment for many people throughout the country as well as his contribution to the growth of the private sector, especially in the export and import industry.
The entrepreneur award adds to the multiple awards garnered by the Sasso Boss including the Overall Achiever of the Year 2015 Award by the West African Regional Magazine Awards, The Noble International Awards and an Honorary Doctorate Degree conferred on him by Commonwealth University in the United Kingdom.
Organized by the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Ghana (EFG), the Award had the theme “The Role of Entrepreneurship In Economic Growth And Private Sector Development”, and seeks to reward the entrepreneurship excellence of individuals and institutions who and which have distinguished themselves in the private sector and its growth.
In attendance were high profiled personalities including the Minister of Trade and Industry, Hon. Dr. Ekow Spio-Garbrah; The British High Commissioner to Ghana, Jon Benjamin; the United States of America’s Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Robert Proter Jackson; The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Mdm Sun Baohong; The Turkish Ambasssador to Ghana, H.E. Mdm Nesrin Bayazit; The Ambassador of France to Ghana, H.E. Francois Pujolas; Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana and a host of other Ghanaian and foreign dignitaries.
According to the founder, Mr. Sam Ato Gaisie, the Ghana Entrepreneur Award Scheme was established to give Ghanaian and foreign resident entrepreneurs the opportunity to interact with one another using the Foundation’s platform and thus increase their capacity for networking and entrepreneurial success.
Also to enhance awareness of the importance of entrepreneurship among the public and in turn stimulate growth of local brands and enterprises to create more jobs.
In a remark, the Minsiter of Trade and Industry, Dr. Spio-Garbrah who was the guest of honour for the event, congratulated the organizers for recognizing the role of entrepreneurs and thus putting together an award scheme for them.
He stated however that bureaucratic policies have been impediments to the growth of the private sector, adding that there must be enabling environment for the institutions to operate smoothly.
The Trade Minister built his speech around the acronyms of PROFIT, stressing that the overall goal of entrepreneurs is the make profit, and for this to be achieved, there need to be entrepreneur-friendly Policies which would help businesses to succeed.
The second letter which is R is for Regulation of the policies. The letter O, he said stands for Operational affairs of the business.
Whereas letter F is for Financing, the Dr. Spio-Garbrah stressed that businesses need cash to operate and again need equity funding rather than
debt, and explained that it is against this backdrop that government has put aside 10m cedis to support young entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to start up businesses.
The letter I, according to him, is Interest rate which needs to be stable for entrepreneurs to operate smoothly since unstable interest rate could frustrate them and possibly move them out of business.
Letter T is for Technology. The minister said the importance of the use of technology cannot be over emphasized.
“This is a powerful tool which can help them access vital funding information and also innovative ideas for their businesses,” he said.
Dr. Spio-Garbrah challenged the award winners to aim higher and advice upcoming entrepreneurs to employ various innovative tools including technology in their ventures.
In all there were twenty-seven (27) awardees with twenty-four (24) males and three (3) females including: Ms. Afi Amoro, CEO of Jandel Limited; Miss Mireille Hittie, the Executive Director of Duraplast Limited; Ms. Catherine N.E.A. Coffie, CEO of Anowah Afrique Limited; Mr. Jonathan Lamptey, CEO of Comsys Ghana Limited; Dr. De-Gaulle Moses Dogbatsey, CEO of Medi-Moses Prostrate Centre.
Some institutions such as HFC Bank, Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL), Union Savings and Loans Limited, Multi Media Group (Joy Business), Holy Trinity Medical Centre also received awards from various categories.