Some players in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are hopeful that the recent banking sector cleanup will result in improved access to finance for their businesses.
For many years, difficulty in accessing funds – brought on by poor record-keeping, lack of collateral, and the reluctance of banks to design products for startups, has constrained the growth of the SME sector.
Speaking in an interview at the 2018 Vodafone SME Ghana Awards, Project Lead of SMEGA Foundation, organizers of the SME Ghana Awards, Kwesi Ofori Jnr said, banks have become more liquid following the recent reforms in the sector, hence the need for improved support to budding entrepreneurs as they are seen as the drivers of economic growth.
“The issue is the debit financing that we are going through and the banks are not willing to even do long term financing; I know that with this cleanup the banks are now liquid to support the SMEs and what I hope the banks will do is to walk the talk,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Founder of Salt and Light Ministry who was the Special Guest of Honour at the awards ceremony, Joyce Aryee, has urged SMEs to build strong brands and take advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement.
The 6th SME Ghana Awards saw Sariam Company Ltd. emerge the Best Performing SME of the year. Chief Executive of the company, Mariam Abdullah Naajia urged women entrepreneurs to be daring in the field of their respective endeavours.
Meanwhile, general insurance company, Activa International Insurance, has pledged insurance protection amounting to GHC3 million to the award winners.
The Deputy Managing Director of Finance and Administration at Activa International Insurance, Genevieve Tachie said, “We are providing them with some covers so we are going to give personal accident cover to the CEOs of the companies of the award winners, we are going to give them accident cover and we are also going to give them public liability cover up to the tune of GH¢3 million.”
Some other winners at the event were MBA Mode Institute winning multiple awards including Community Impact Award for its Kayaye project, Jilfa Trends as SME discovery of the year, Aide Chemist as Trade Sector pharmaceuticals and cosmetics SME of the year, among others.
The SME Ghana Awards is a national Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Award Scheme instituted to recognize the countless achievements of Ghanaian SMEs and individuals of entrepreneurial excellence of various categories.
The Award focuses on innovation, creativity, productivity, technology application, good management practices, corporate governance and business growth and profitability.
It also considers product quality, market competitiveness among businesses that ultimately promotes “Made-in-Ghana” products for local and global markets.