Zenith Bank holds SME workshop
A training workshop to provide coaching and equip small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with the needed resources to launch their business on an e-commerce online platform, known as Alibaba.com, has commenced in Accra.
Organised by Zenith Bank Ghana in partnership with the World Trade Centre, Accra and Alibaba.com, the masterclass will also impart new sellers with the basic knowledge needed to sell on the platform and expose local sellers to the global market.Follow @Graphicgh
Dubbed ‘‘The Alibaba Global Seller Training E-Course Masterclass,’’ the three-day workshop which started today (February 23) will also be held on March 2 and close on March 9 this year.
The Head of Retail Division of Zenith Bank, Kwame Adadey, said the company believed that SMEs were the backbone of the economy because they constituted 90 per cent of businesses in the country.
Some of the challenges he said SMEs faced were the inability to access loans due to high cost of capital and lack of collateral, poor cash flow and no established credit history.
Mr Adadey said SMEs faced challenges in accessing markets and making themselves visible and for that reason setting up a platform to train and to help them reach a greater space outside the shores of the country was crucial.
He said an initiative such as the masterclass organised by Zenith Bank Ghana was an important tool to set Ghanaian businesses on the world market.
“What we are hoping is that we can help the SMEs get more partnerships and also train them in terms of the technical specifications of the product that they do.
“And once they are able to get these things working in harmony they can actually achieve the point that we are trying to make in terms of scaling and meeting the standard of the global market,” he said.
The Executive Director of World Trade Centre, Accra, Edem Kofi Yevutsey, said export trading was important as the nation could not depend solely on imports, especially with the pressures the country’s currency was experiencing.
He explained that the World Trade Centre, Accra saw it as an unfortunate thing that users of Alibaba platform in Sub-Saharan Africa could only import and not export their products.
He said that the centre leveraged on its global network to help remove the barrier and enable African SMEs to market their products on the platform.
“So what we did was to help address their concerns and to work with them on a verification process that will ensure that once you are verified as a legitimate African business, you can become a verified buyer on the platform and use their trade manager tools to engage with people from all over the world,” he said.
A Deputy Director at the Ghana Export Promotions Authority (GEPA), Banda Khalifa, said exports of Ghanaian products was important as it was one of the pillars that helped to keep the country’s currency afloat.Follow @Graphicgh
He urged participants to have a strong brand that would help promote their businesses and also register with the Registrar General’s Department.