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Devt Bank, GNNCI prepare SMEs for funding

BY: Maxwell Akalaare Adombila
Clement Osei-Amoako (3rd from left), President, GNCCI, and Michael Mensah-Baah, Deputy CEO, DBG, exchanging the partnership agreement

THE Development Bank Ghana (DBG) has partnered the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) to equip small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with the necessary expertise to reduce the risks in their operations that make it difficult for them to access funding.

The partnership allows the bank and the chamber to undertake capacity-building workshops for the about 1,000 SMEs nationwide on areas that will enhance their ability to access funding from DBG’s partner financial institutions (PFIs) as well as build sustainable businesses.

The first phase of the exercise took place in Accra and Koforidua last week, where more than 190 institutions participated.

Scope

A statement from the bank said the joint business skills development programme was on the theme: “Empowering SMEs with the requisite business skills for sustainable growth and resilience.”

It said similar capacity-building workshops were scheduled from September 12 onwards in Tarkwa and Takoradi in the Western Region and Cape Coast in the Central Region.

It said the initiative formed part of DBG’s commitment to fostering strong partnerships to build the capacity for SMEs.

The statement said the maiden edition in Accra hosted 94 SMEs whose businesses were spread across DBG’s primary focus sectors – agribusiness, information technology, manufacturing and high-value services.

It said within those sectors, women and youth-led businesses formed an important part of the bank’s focus.

DBG’s solutions

The Deputy CEO of DBG, Michael Mensah-Baah, reiterated the bank’s commitment to being an integral part of the solution to foster SME growth in the economy.

That, he said, was pivotal to the success of Ghana’s economic growth.

The President of the GNCCI, Clement Osei-Amoako, said the skills development programme was to provide 1,000 SMEs with the requisite skills to scale up their business operations and de-risk them to better access long-term capital.

Koforidua

The statement said in Koforidua, where the second workshop took place, a total of 100 SMEs within the locality participated.

It said more than 40 per cent of the participants were women-owned businesses.

Participants that attended these workshops were taken through various business topics by experienced resource persons in risk management, environmental and social governance (ESG), financial management and entrepreneurship,” the statement said.

It said participants were exposed to the benefits of adopting ESG frameworks and sustainability practices in their businesses, noting that the ESG practices required a holistic evaluation of a business to determine how it serves its internal and external stakeholders and the environment, where it has influence.

It said the regional workshops look to develop and reinforce the business skills of Ghana’s private sector to improve commercial operations to become more competitive.

The statement said the next set of workshops would come off in Tarkwa, Takoradi and Cape Coast on September 13, 15 and 20, respectively.