The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), in collaboration with the Development Bank of Ghana (DBG), has trained small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to improve their capacity for long-term business growth and resilience.
The training emphasised how SMEs’ difficulties in obtaining medium and long-term loan capital could be addressed by providing competitively priced loans to transform the market, industry, and economy.
Addressing industry players at the training workshop on Thursday, Mr Clement Osei Amoako, President of GNCCI, said Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), as well as SMEs, played an important role in economic growth and development.
“This is because they account for more than 90 per cent of all registered businesses, account for 80 per cent of manufacturing jobs, and contribute roughly 70 per cent of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product.”
However, the growth and value of these businesses were relatively less stable and more susceptible to economic and market cycles.
Mr Amoako outlined some problems that have slowed the growth of SMEs, including high capital costs, taxes, electricity costs, and collateral issues, and called on the government and stakeholders, including the GNCCI, to re-evaluate policies and programmes to give companies the tools they needed to effectively withstand shocks from the market, industry, and economy.
To address the difficulty of accessing long-term capital amidst the rising cost of doing business due to local and global shocks, he said it should be accomplished through the DBG as an enabler for businesses in Ghana and as a long-term capital provider in the market. ”
To successfully qualify and participate in this programme, interested businesses should have registered with our respective branch chambers,” he said.
Mrs Charis Maame Wilson, the Head of DBG’s Business Development Service, explained that many SMEs faced difficulties in obtaining loan capital, particularly medium-to long-term funding, and that, according to World Bank data, 60 per cent of loans in Ghana’s banking sector were of the short-term variety.
As a result, she said: “Development Bank Ghana, DBG, is here to provide the long-term funding that MSME’s need at a competitive price to promote and to ensure their growth and contribution to private sector development.”
Mrs Wilson said the DBG had identified enterprises that clearly required a lot of attention in the sectors of agribusiness, manufacturing, information and communication technology, as well as those that provided high-value services such as tourism, hospitality, health, and education as those that the bank would support.
“DBG’s intention is to work with as many banks as possible, including rural banks, but as at now, they would work with the banks on board who are represented officially as the Participating Financial Institutions. – GNA