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GroFin to support SMEs with GHc10m

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

GroFin Ghana Limited, a development financier of small businesses in the country, is to invest about GHC10 million to financially distressed small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the country this year.

This will bring the company’s total fund commitment to SMEs in the country to over GHC30 million after opening its Ghana office three years ago.

The General Manager for GroFin Ghana, Mr Samuel Sedegah, who disclosed this in Accra, said the company was expecting its clientele base to rise to 60 by the close of 2014.

“This year, we hope to invest about GH¢10million in SMEs across the country. By next year, we want clients who have benefitted from our expertise to hit 60, Mr Sedegah said.

GroFin is an SME development financier in Africa that assists entrepreneurs and their businesses with funds and technical expertise to grow and drive socio-economic development.

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It was established around 2004 as a special alternative to SMEs in need of funding and currently has a committed capital in excess of US$320 million.

The company extended its services to the country in 2010 and withinn the three years, has been supporting about 36 businesses with about GHC25 million, according to Mr Guido Boysen, the Chief Executive Officer of GroFin Africa.

Mr Boysen, who was on a working visit to the country, added that about nine other businesses will be benefiting from GroFin’s financial and technical support by April this year.

The company supports local businesses in need of funds between US$50,000 to US$1.5 million to expand their operations, according to the country manager of GroFin.

He explained that such businesses must employ less than 150 people and have a turnover of about US$20 million.

Mr Sedegah, however, added that “obviously, some are much smaller than that and some grow to be larger while they are with us.”

 The GroFin Ghana GM, however, warned that although his outfit offered tailor-made financial and technical assistance to its varied clients, it should not be misconstrued to mean “what we offer is free money.”

“The terms of our loans are based on what we think the business needs and that is based on our conversations with the entrepreneur and analysis of the business plan.”

“For us, we first look at whether the business is viable and managed and owned by committed entrepreneurs or business people that are local and involved directly in the business themselves,” he explained.

He further encouraged financially distressed businesses, especially those of the SME sector, not to hesitate in contacting the company for financial support to enable them expand and create more jobs.