Agribusiness marketing in local and global contexts for cocoa and horticulture SMEs


The project “Upgrading business competences among SME entrepreneurs in Ghana’s horticultural and cocoa products value chains” is in full swing with the entrepreneurial participants having recently finished their second module. From 19 to 22 February the module on agribusiness marketing in local and global contexts took place in Accra, Ghana.

MSM Senior Lecturer of Marketing and Strategy Oliver Olson traveled to Ghana to share his extensive knowledge and experience in 4 hands-on training workshops with a key focus on strengthening the marketing of the 17 participating Ghanaian SMEs in Horticulture and Chocolate.

This was the second training module that rapidly followed up the first training on Value Chain Analysis. During the marketing module the SME owners and managers dived into the marketing fundamentals and how to identify the correct customers and segment and target customers locally and globally. Furthermore, they worked on how their customers define value and how to communicate with their customer base by using the Marketing Mix (4Ps).

Also, the packaging of the SME’s products was touched upon, as first impressions of a product matter and packaging isn’t just a box, it’s a communication tool to your customers. But the main point is of course the product within the packaging. And hence, a nice added bonus of a training with chocolate SMEs, was the tasting of the products. At least 24 different chocolate bars from multiple manufacturers were eaten, analyzed and discussed.  

An interactive teaching mix
The course was a combination of theory, group and individual work on student’s own company and presentations. Also, individual coaching sessions were part of the course offering, which gave participants the opportunity to get more in detail regarding the needs of their business. These one-hour sessions are voluntarily and on request of the participant. The sessions one-on-one coaching sessions are appreciated by the participants.

 “The coaching sessions make it possible to see how to grow organically especially as a small startup company”. – training participant

Up next
The third module on exporting to Africa will start in May. The other modules follow in later months.

This Tailor-Made-Training is a joint initiative by four organizations: the Ghana Netherlands Business and Culture Council (GNBCC), the Cocoa Value Addition Artisans Association of Ghana (COVAAAGH), The Africa Trade Academy (ATA) and Maastricht School of Management (MSM). The trainers are from MSM and the ATA in Ghana.

Photo: GNBCC

Orange Knowledge Programme
This Tailor-Made-Training is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) which is funded by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic. For more information click here.

MSM's Expert Centre on Emerging Economies

This project is part of MSM's Expert Centre on Emerging Economies. The department is an expert centre on local economic development in emerging and developing markets.‚Äč We capacitate managers and professionals from government, private sector, NGOs, and post-secondary education in Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Latin America. We offer consultancy and customized training programs, and we manage complex projects in key sectors, e.g. water, agriculture and health. For more information click here.

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