SMEs clinic & fair: Access Bank lends GH¢504 million to 170,000 businesses
A collaboration between Access Bank Ghana PLC and Graphic Communications Group Ltd has resulted in the bank reaching out to and supporting more than 170,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The collaboration, which is centred around the organisation of business clinics and fairs for SMEs, has enabled Access Bank Ghana to disburse GH¢504 million in loans to about 170,000 SMEs over the past three years.
Out of the amount, GH¢150 million was collateral free, disbursed through the bank’s instant loan product.
Within the period, Access Bank PLC has also supported over 60,000 SMEs to migrate to the digital space to enable them to take advantage of the opportunities to expand and grow their businesses.
Speaking on behalf of the Managing Director of Access Bank PLC Ghana, Olumide Olatunji, the Group Head of Business Banking of the bank, Kafui Bimpe, disclosed this in Accra during the Graphic Business/Access Bank PLC SME Clinic and Fair in the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi.
More than 400 SME participants attended the three-day business clinic and fair which was the second edition being organised in the Ashanti Region.
The participants were from the industries, academia and public sector including regulatory bodies, while the exhibitors were from the telecommunication sector, food and beverages, fashion and design sectors.
While the clinic was for one day, the fair ran till last Saturday.
Over the last three years, the SME clinic and fair has been held in Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi.
Mr Bimpe said Access Bank Ghana remained resolute in its support for the sustainable growth of the SMEs sector in the country.
“As the go-to bank for SMEs, Access Bank remains resolute in our commitment to support the sustainable growth of SMEs in Ghana,” he stated.
Access Bank Ghana’s Group Head of Business Banking said the bank’s interventions had led to “an upscale of our SME partners which has positively impacted employment and has inspired entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams and create a brighter future for themselves and their communities”.
Mr Bimpe noted that the partnership between the bank and the GCGL had enabled the bank to reach out to more SMEs in the country through the regional clinics and fairs and the fortnightly business education.
The Group Head of Business Banking said through the biweekly business education programmes, SMEs had been equipped with timely information needed to navigate the ever evolving business landscape.
“For us at Access Bank, we can only express our deep gratitude for the remarkable progress we have achieved in partnership with stakeholders,” he said.
Mr Bimpe said the fair was to create a platform for businesses in the region to showcase their products and services and also share ideas, and to network to create a bigger market for their products.
“Today, we stand united with you to create a platform that showcases your exceptional product and services while offering unparalleled networking opportunities,” he said.
The Group Head of Business Banking added that Graphic/Access Bank clinics and fairs had provided a platform for SMEs to showcase products, forge connection and access funding.
He said the contribution of the bank to the SME sector had not gone unnoticed as it had picked up some awards for its role in growing the private sector.
Some of the awards included the Best SME Bank of the Year at the 2023 World Economic Magazine Award; the 2022 SME Bank of the Year by Credit Excellence Award and the 2022 Most Innovative SME brand by Global Brands Award.
Notwithstanding the achievements, Mr Bimpe acknowledged that “there is much work to be done,” and called on policymakers to remain steadfast in their support for the SMEs sector.