The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, is advocating the establishment of a Loan Guarantee Scheme that will offer liquidity in the banks to support development of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
As the life blood of every successful business venture, he explained that the availability of financial or liquidity support for small businesses through such a scheme would be beneficial to the growth of MSMEs in the country.
He, therefore, called on the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Ghana to lead the processes towards the introduction of the scheme.
The Minister was speaking in Accra yesterday during the launch of 37 Business Resource Centres (BRCs) across the country.
The BRCs are a one-stop enterprise support centre at the district level designed to provide broad range of business development services to potential and existing entrepreneurs and enterprises.
Developed under the Rural Enterprise Programme (REP) and operationalised under the supervision of Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), the BRCs are funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
With 37 operationalised across the country currently, works on 30 more are at various stages of completion and expected to be opened by the end of the year.
MrKyerematen said support for MSMEs would transform Ghana’s local economy by providing employment, ensuring sustained flow of foreign exchange and create global business giants.
“All the big business giants such as Jeff Bezos’ Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and the likes all started very small as micro enterprises and have today become bigger brands that we all celebrate and patronise.
Even in our very own local settings, our celebrated companies such as Kasapreko, Osei Kwame Despite, OforiSarpong and the rest all started out as small businesses,” he added.
The Minister called on Ghanaians to bring to bear their entrepreneurial spirit by developing business ventures irrespective of their current standing in society saying that “creating businesses is the surest way to grow the country.”
In view of challenges that confront small businesses, he said the BRCs were institutional support mechanisms to provide the needed assistance for businesses to enable them grow.
He indicated that the BRCs would be operated and managed under a Franchise arrangement with GEA as the franchisor and private sector operators as franchisees.
In preparation for this, MrKyerematen said the Ministry supported REP and GEA to develop Franchise Models, Standard Operating Procedures and Systems for the management and operations of the BRCs.
In addition, GEA and its institutional partners were implementing the MSME Policy designed in 2020 by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to ensure that the right ecosystem exists to provide high quality support services to all MSMEs at the District level.
Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Chief Executive Officer of GEA, said the agency would ensure that MSMEs in the country had the tools and resources to grow and be competitive.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19 and its impact on small businesses, she said, the government’s intervention programme, specifically the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme had transformed more than 300,000 MSMEs with about GH¢530 million invested so far.
She noted that the GEA was committed to providing additional funds in support of MSMEs to enable the adoption of technologies that would make businesses operate efficiently.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS & BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY