The SME Ghana Awards’ exclusivity stems in part from the composition of its judging panel. Only Business Executives, Finance Analysts, Entrepreneurs, Administrators and Policymakers are invited to serve as judges.

Structured this way, the SME Ghana Awards is able to leverage the unique knowledge and expertise of influential opinion leaders to determine deserving award winners each year.

Nico van Staalduinen

Nico van Staalduinen Nico is a dual citizen of Ghana and the Netherlands. He is an Economist and the Executive Director of the European Business Organisation in Ghana, a member of the Board of Directors of the State Enterprises Commission. Nico is an Entrepreneur and a Consultant specialized in Startup Companies in Ghana. He is a Fellow of the prestigious Ghanaian Board Room Institute and promoter of Ghana Abroad together with Ghana Investment Promotion Center and the Ghana Free Zones Board and Ministry of Tourism among others.


Felicia Agbodza is passionately dedicated to helping people improve their lives through personal development and encouragement. Trained as a Professional Teacher, Felicia studied further to work as an Industrial Relations Practitioner and now a Human Resource Practitioner.

With an enviable 24 years’ working experience, she is known to many as an adept Teacher, an astute Industrial Relations Practitioner, a People & Performance Manager and Administrator.


Ms Valentina Martha Sam is an Industrial Promotion Officer (I.P.O.) at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Accra, Ghana. She has over seven (7) years working experience with the SME Development Team. Valentina is into SMEs capacity building with an in-depth understanding of Ghana’s SME sector through various levels of engagement. She is a trained Economist and also holds a Master’s Degree in Global Development and Entrepreneurship. She has a broad knowledge on growth-oriented entrepreneurship initiatives and deploys such strategic skills and practical tools with learnings from a global perspective for the sustainability of local SMEs.

D. N. O. Sackey

D. N. O. Sackey A Chartered Accountant by profession, worked in finance and accountancy positions for over 35 years in both private and not-for-profit sectors in Ghana. 17 years of his working life has been in the Cocoa Industry as Deputy Managing Director – Finance and Administration at Transroyal (Gh.) Ltd, Accra Ghana. Mr. Sackey is the CEO and Managing Consultant at Ephesus Consulting Limited


Sampson Abankwa has appetite for developing and promoting Small Businesses. He has supported over 150 companies, 12 of which have received funding to either start or expand their businesses and to acquire new technologies. He is currently involved in the formulation of a national MSME Policy as well as developing the necessary startup ecosystem that will support establishing the Startup Incubation Centres across Ghana.

As Team Lead for SME Development at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Sampson’s leadership for institutional reformation will provide a better enterprise support services in the international commodity value chain for MSMEs.