ESSA Ghana, 1998

    Started in Ghana in February 1996, the Enterprise Support Services for Africa (ESSA) Project brokers relationships between small and medium enterprises and consultants. Focusing on dynamic enterprises, it undertakes detailed needs assessments of the firms and builds consulting modules to address these needs. Private consultants work with the enterprises to jointly develop plans to assist the companies in overcoming obstacles ranging from technical issues to management support. The services are cost shared between the enterprise and ESSA through matching grants, and involve performance based contracts for both the consultants and the enterprises.

    Summary of results
    While the Project has only been underway for a short period, results from the consulting support have already been reflected in increased sales, expanded export markets, job creation, and improved profitability. This success has been related to three factors: careful selection of companies to ensure that they have the right attitude towards change and the ability to implement the recommended actions; a participatory approach to developing and implementing the consulting assignments; and extensive followup to assist firms in maximizing the benefits from the consulting support. The services are seen to be unique since they are specialized and provide an integrated system of support over a period of time.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    Synthesis Documents
    »Harare DC Conference, 1998
    »Rio de Janeiro DC Conference, 1999 (global)