Boost for companies under 1D1F programme …as cabinet approves 10% interest rate subsidy for them

Cabinet has approved a policy which will provide a ten per cent interest rate subsidy for companies that operate under the One District, One Factory Initiative (1D1F) programme, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka-Lindsey has said.

Mr Ahomka-Lindsey disclosed this at the inauguration of the Societe Generale (SG) Home of Business, Osu branch, in Accra explaining that the move formed part of strategies under the government’s industrialisation agenda to add value to the country’s natural resources.

The SG Home of Business is to provide an array of business advisory services, from business registration, corporate governance and accounting to tax advisory services, for players in the Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the country for free.

It is being operated in collaboration with partners such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, PWC, Registrar General Department, and Advance Ghana.

The minister said the decision to provide the cushion for companies under 1D1F programme was also to address the high interest rate problem hindering start-ups and SMEs in the country.

He said the government had partnered GCB Bank, ADB and Ecobank for the interest rate subsidy programme.

“With the new policy assuming interest rate is pegged at 20 per cent, government will pay ten per cent for companies operating under the 1D1F and needed finance to fund their business,” he said.

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry lauded the SG Bank Ghana for the decision to establish the home to provide business advisory services for not only the SME customers of the bank, but for the entire players in the SME space.

The Director of International Retail Banking of Africa, Mediterranean Basin and Overseas Region of the Societe Generale Group, Alexander Maymat said the opening of the facility formed part of the bank’s commitment to nurture and build a vibrant SME sector to drive the economic development of Ghana.

SMEs, he said, constituted about 92 per cent of businesses in Ghana and created more than 80 of employment and contributed about 70 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

Mr Maymat said the Home would not only provide business advisory services, but build the capacities of managers of SMEs on good corporate governance among other issues.

The Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), Mr Kofi Yamoah said SMEs “are at the heart of the GSE and said it was in that direction that the Ghana Alternative Market (GAX) was created for SMEs to raise funds on the Accra bourse.

He said so far five companies had listed on the GAX and urged other SMEs to use the market to raise funds to finance their businesses.

The manager of the SG Home of Business, Bernard Gyimah said the home would provide training, coaching, mentoring and businesses advisory services for SMEs customers and non customers of SG Ghana  with an annual turnover of GH₵300 million for free.

By Kingsley Asare

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