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UMB to support more MSMEs

BY: Elizabeth Nyaadu Adu
Rosie Glazebrook (1st from left), CEO of CWEIC and Nana Dwemoh Benneh (2nd from left), CEO of UMB having an interaction with some staff of the bank

THE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), Rosie Glazebrook, has said Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are key to the economic growth of every country.

She, therefore, stressed the need for them to be supported so they can help address some of the economic challenges bedevilling the country.

She said this on May 19 in Accra when she paid a courtesy call on the Universal Merchant Bank (UMB), one of CWEIC’s key partners in Ghana.

The visit formed part of her official tour to Ghana to enable her get firsthand view of Ghanaian MSMEs and deliberate on how CWEIC would collaborate with UMB to support their businesses to grow efficiently.

“UMB is Ghana’s oldest Merchant Bank and the Commonwealth is one of Ghana’s oldest international relationships. Central to our work at the CWEIC is the Commonwealth Advantage- the fact that overall it is 21 per cent cheaper to do business across the Commonwealth than anywhere else.

“We are thus, very passionate about bringing this advantage to bear on businesses,” she said.

The CEO of UMB, Nana Dwemoh Benneh, said a number of significant economic reports show that MSMEs account for over 70 per cent of all economic activity in Ghana.

“As a bank, we have been focused on Ghanaian MSMEs and their growth since 1972 and thus, we share this passion for MSMEs with the CWEIC.

“Indeed we are proud to have been selected by the CWEIC to partner the University of Coventry programme to build capacity for African MSMEs and we look forward to rolling out the program this year, especially to MSMEs with female leadership,” he said.

He said as part of the bank’s 50th anniversary celebration, it was working with customers to find ways to enrich and enhance their businesses and their livelihoods, adding that “our partnership with the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council will help us in achieving this.”

Implementation

Mr Benneh said the bank will first focus of female-led businesses before the model gets ready because there was relatively higher levels of success in the female-led businesses.

“We will also be working with some other members of CWEIC who are into FinTech to see how to digitise the process and once we get the model we will then look to digitise to bring much more convenience to our clients.

We have thousands of SMEs as our customers, but we will test it on a very small pilot group, between 30 and 40 of them, to help take the learnings quickly to roll it out,” he said.