AGI, EU prepares SMEs on investor readiness

BY: Maclean Kwofi
Some participants at the breakfast meeting.

ABOUT 70 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have benefited from an investment session meant to build their competitiveness to become more investor ready and help them access funding to enhance their operations.

As a result, the investment session was initiated by the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) to help bridge the gap between businesses and the investor communities within Ghana.

It was at the fifth edition of the Boardroom Breakfast Event being organised in collaboration with the European Union (EU) funded Investment Promotion and Business Linkages Project.

On the topic “Impact Investments as a Viable Option for Capital Acquisition,” the event also seeks to help increase awareness of impact investments and private equity funding options in the country.

Building up competitiveness

Briefing the Graphic Business at the meeting in Accra on June 10, the Director for Business Development Services at AGI, Johnson Opoku Boateng, said the event was held to build up competitiveness and capacity for SMEs in the country to enable them to unlock their potential into global giants.

“Anytime we talk about investment we think about foreign direct investments (FDIs). We also know Ghana Investment Promotion (GIPC) has been doing a very great job on how to attract FDIs.

“But we also thought there are so many locals that can invest in our businesses and so, this is the beginning of a new era where businesses will be closer to investors,” he said.

He stated that “we have realised that the connection between investors and industry has not been there and so, AGI seeks to break that particular gap to ensure that our companies within Ghana will have access to funding from the investor community within Ghana.”

Consequently, he said that the forum presented impact and private equity investors to interact with the participants who were mainly business owners on how to secure funding.

“The meeting was to tell the businesses what exactly they need to make themselves visible for investment and to inform them on how much money is in the ecosystem for investment,” he added.

Option of equity financing

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Innohub, a consulting firm, Nelson Amo, said the forum was held to help SMEs to understand the option of equity financing and how they could explore it.

“From the nature of questions by the participants, we could see clearly that there was the need for a lot more engagements and information sharing on how to secure investment,” he said.

He stated that though there has been huge demand for capital, businesses seeking to access these funds needed to show readiness before they benefit.

“It is not just about needing money but how to make the investors understand that their money will return to them within the stipulated period,” he said.

He, therefore, called for a platform (physical or virtual) that would provide businesses with solid information on how to secure investment into their operations.