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Some SMEs exhibiting at the Graphic Business/ Access Bank SME Fair in Accra. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA
Some SMEs exhibiting at the Graphic Business/ Access Bank SME Fair in Accra. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA

Accountable structures, data key to accessing loans

Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) have been tasked to adhere to proper bookkeeping practices to increase their chances of accessing loans.

The Executive Director for Retail and Digital Banking of Access Bank Ghana, Pearl Nkrumah, who made the call said in many instances, banks were willing to give out loans to small businesses but such applicants did not have proper documentation to support the claim that they had the capacity to service the loans.

She cited poor record keeping, and data gathering as some to the bottlenecks affecting bank’s ability to trust businesses in giving out loans to them.

She was responding to a question posed by an entrepreneur at the Graphic Business-Access Bank SME clinic in Accra today (Dec 7).

Fair

Over 150 exhibitors and merchants displayed their products, wares and services to the public at a fair which was launched three years ago to support SME development by Graphic Business and Access Bank.

The two day fair, is on the theme, “Running sustainable business in a challenging economic landscape”.

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Ms Nkrumah, revealed that he outfit has been training persons in SMEs the essence of proper book keeping to make them access finance easily at her outfit.

She revealed that Access Bank has the liquidity to readily provide for SMEs but the lack of proper, record keeping and accountable structures hinders the securing of loans by majority of those in the SME business.

“We need action and we have resolved to build a trust and accountability relationship with our customers, through digitisation and building a cheap portal to sync stock management into the businesses of SMEs to ensure investor readiness, printing receipts electronically and teaching and ensuring SMEs to inculcate tools that is in sync with modern trends into their businesses,” she stated.

A Finance Information Systems lecturer at the University of Professional Studies, Accra,  Professor Samuel Lartey in his keynote address at the SME clinic challenged entrepreneurs including owners of SMEs to consider monetising and commercialising their knowledge for effective maximisation of their talent.

He tasked entrepreneurs to make sound judgements for their businesses to thrive and continue to remain in business.

“An entrepreneur must deliberately ask three questions: What must I stop doing to become a better business person or entrepreneur, What must I start doing to make me a better entrepreneur and What must I continue doing?, “ he stated at the opening of the second edition of the Graphic Business-Access Bank SME Fair at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly yesterday.

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