Minister, 10 Others Grab Doctorate

The Minister of Business Development Ibrahim Mohammed Awal and 10 others have graduated with a Doctorate in Business Administration.

He was part of 11 business executives, who graduated at the maiden doctoral graduation ceremony of the Nobel International Business School (NiBS) held in Accra.

Researching on ‘Family-owned businesses sustainability after the exit of the founder,’ with key focus on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), Dr Awal said SMEs constitute about 70 percent of all businesses in the country yet 35 percent collapse before they get to three years, and only about 25% of businesses continue after three years.

He added that even with that phenomenon, SMEs still account for 75% of Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of the country and other economies around the world.

He chose the topic to help sustain SMEs which are the backbone of every economy after the owners die.

“Companies such as Opoku Transport, Swedru Contractors, among others, all collapsed after the owners died and so I sought to find out why that happens,” he explained.

After a cross-sectional research across the 10 regions with 250 respondents randomly selected, Dr Awal found that social capital is the most important factor in business continuity.

“That means networking, and it means that when you have a business, it is important that you link your managers and successors to the network you have. In the event that you are sick or die, you have the network to continue.”

He noted that the research is an important addition to knowledge which would help him to continue his mandate as a minister to develop SMEs to meet global standard.

He said in the past one-and-half years that he has been a minister, he has learnt that SMEs need three things to survive: financial capability with cheap source of funding, social capital and network ability and monitoring.

He said in order to create the environment for them to compete, they would need the above-mentioned elements.

Speaking at the event, ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor, said the recent evolution in Ghana’s higher education sector has exposed a pivotal gap, and stressed the need for tertiary institutions to increase the relevance of their curricula through the introduction of new approaches that satisfy the needs of both academics and practitioners.

He added that Corporate Ghana has also noted the increasing lack of fresh graduates who possess the relevant proficiency, tenacity and skill set to succeed in real-world work situations.

Ex-President Kufuor stated that introducing academically qualified executives into the university lecture halls could help address the gap.

“There is a need to have executives become an integral part of faculties in universities, and this will add more value to the overall classroom experience.

“I understand NiBS is able to produce seasoned executive doctoral graduates who can apply their knowledge not only to solve real-world problems in their organisations, but are also able to provide real business and management training for new generation of students.”

He, therefore, called on universities in Ghana, especially business schools, to adopt the practice of providing opportunities for doctoral qualified professionals and executives to serve as educators in their institutions.

Source: Daily Guide

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