A patron examining a product on display
A patron examining a product on display

Stakeholders, patrons laud Graphic Business, Access Bank SME Clinic 

Stakeholders and patrons of the Graphic Business/Access Bank SME Clinic and Fair have expressed satisfaction with the programme and the rich platform it provides.

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Aside from the attendance at the clinic, all the exhibitors, who expressed interest in the fair, also turned up at the Prempeh Assembly Hall in Kumasi.

The Head of SME and Support of Access Bank Ghana PLC, Eugenia O. Addo, said the patronage so far “has been quite encouraging and worth the investment.”

Fair, clinic

Graphic Business, a specialised brand of the Graphic Communications Groups Ltd, partnered Access Bank Ghana PLC to organise the Ashanti Region edition of the SME Fair and Clinic in Kumasi.

The three-day fair is being held on the theme: “Running Sustainable Businesses in a Challenging Economic Landscape.”

Activities lined up for the fair included a public lecture, exhibition, sales and a networking opportunity for participants.

Participants were also trained in cyber security and sensitised to be conscious of their safety while running their businesses. 

Access Bank officials also offered business advisory services, training and loan facilities to the participants as part of efforts to address their financial challenges that hindered their growth.

Products on exhibition ranged from clothing to edibles such as plantain chips, palm oil, hibiscus juice ‘sobolo’, natural fruit juices, hair, make-up and skin care products, electronics and telecommunication products.

SMEs hub

Ms Addo said the bank, which positioned itself as an SMEs hub, decided to hold the second edition of the fair in Kumasi this year, following the success of the first, which was held in 2021.

She said feedback from the first edition guided the bank to come up with its instant loan, a collateral free product.

The head of SME and support of Access Bank Ghana PLC said most of the businesses asked for loan facilities that would not require landed property as collateral, since many of them were not in a position to provide them.

Knowing the importance of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the development of the country, Ms Addo said the bank designed a product that took into consideration the turnover of the businesses and based on that, the collateral free loans were granted.
So far, she said, the repayment rate had been encouraging.

Ms Addo assured the business community that the bank would continue to listen to their concerns and tailor its products to meet their demands.

Great platform

Most of the exhibitors admitted that the fair was a great platform for them to advertise their products and also look for partnership to expand their markets.

Some of the exhibitors came all the way from Tema in the Greater Accra Region and Techimantia in the Ahafo Region to exhibit at the fair while some of them also came from the Ashanti Region.

Exhibitors

For his part, the Marketing Manager of Brifeda International Foods in Tema, Calvin Ampadu, said his objective of taking part in the fair was to find new markets for the company’s products and find distributors in the region.

According to him, the company had so far been operating in Accra and “we think it is time to move out of Accra and penetrate the bigger market.”

So far, he added, the response had been very positive for the company’s dairy and cocoa products and “we have made some few contacts”.

“We are yet to follow but the feedback is that they want some of the products here,” Mr Ampadu said.

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The purpose was not different for Lily Nkrumah Addai of Aroma Washwoman. 

As a start-up company, “I want to use the fair to market my products and network for future purposes.”

Currently, she said, her market was mainly students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and residents around the university community.

“But the business is growing and I need more avenues for the products to fit into my dream of becoming a businesswoman,” Ms Addai said.

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She expressed her gratitude to the Graphic Business and Access Bank Ghana for the opportunity to exhibit at the fair and meet potential partners and clients.

1. Calvin Ampadu (right), Marketing Manager of Brifeda International Foods, speaking to the Graphic Reporter.


2. A patron examining a product on display

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