The Director of Business Banking at Absa Bank, Ghana, Grace Anim-Yeboah, has outlined some schemes Absa Bank has made available to help Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) expand their operations.
According to her, supporting Ghanaian businesses will go a long way to turn the fortunes of the economy for good.
“If we choose to buy Made-in-Ghana goods, it will drive the demand and opportunity for growth. There are a number of solutions available [at Absa] to support local SMEs to grow in this space.”
“We have the Enterprise Supply Chain Development Solution. What it does is that for MSMEs who are producing or providing services or products to larger corporates, once you create an invoice, we can actually provide you with the funding, so you can continue to operate until you receive payment for your products.”
She added that Absa Bank also has schemes to help manufacturing firms to boost their businesses.
“As you go into manufacturing, and you want to scale up, we have what we call our asset financing solutions that we use, to support you to provide equipment and machinery such as tractors, for farming. What it does is that it gives you the ability to increase your scale of production without putting your working capital into that equipment and getting it locked up. That way, you can continue to produce.”
“Again, the reality is that, not all SMEs are well-organised. Even for such MSMEs, we have what we call unsecured solutions. SMEs can access huge sums of credit without collateral. We have supported over 500 of them so far, and we are looking forward to helping more.”
She also indicated that the bank seeks to invest heavily in capacity-building programmes for SMEs to ensure the sustainability of the businesses.
“We are also investing in capacity building. We are building the capacity of these SMEs to be disciplined enough. We have realised there is a capacity challenge. How accountable are the SMEs? How can we ensure they actually invest the funding into the businesses? The aim is to ensure that these businesses are sustainable and trans-generational,” Grace Anim-Yeboah added.
Digital channels of payment
Madam Grace Anim-Yeboah also advised MSMEs to embrace digital channels of payment.
“It is important for entrepreneurs to start thinking about payment platforms. You have to make it easy for your customers to be able to pay you. There is a range of solutions to that effect. The world has changed so drastically. The change is real and will continue. MSMEs, therefore, need to consider adapting to this change. For instance, there are so many options of payment now, an example is the digital channels.”
“Payments can be made and received in seconds. You can even migrate your mobile money to your bank account. There is the GH QR code, which comes at no charge, you can pay your employees, suppliers, you can even receive money from your suppliers before the products get to them so that your money is not lost.”
She explained that not only are these platforms important for making payments, but they also help the entrepreneurs to know their customers for repeat business.
“That is where the sustainability of your growth lies. These customers will, in turn, recommend you to others and also buy more.”
She was speaking on the topic “promoting made-in-Ghana products to spur inclusive economic growth”.
Other panellists on the forum were Kosi Yankey – Director of the Ghana Enterprise Agency formerly NBSSI; Robert Ahomka-Lindsay – a former Deputy Minister of Trade, Ramatu Sai Jimah – the CEO of Chopbox Express and Lloyd Ashiley – General Manager of Niche Cocoa.
About the Citi Business Festival
The Citi Business Festival is an extensive program of business events and on-air activities providing inspiration, business ideas, and information to persons who are starting, building, or growing their businesses.
The virtual business fora are live on Citi TV every Tuesday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.
The radio on-air series is themed to correspond with the various virtual forums at 9:20 am every weekday.
It is sponsored by Absa Bank Ghana with support from IT Consortium and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and also powered by Citi FM, Citi TV, and Ghana’s most comprehensive business news website, www.citibusinessnews.com