Graphic Business-Access Bank SME: Entrepreneurs urged to reduce cost to survive
This year’s Graphic Business-Access Bank SME Fair has been opened in Accra with a call on entrepreneurs to reduce cost in their day-to-day operations.
A Professor of Finance and Information Technology Systems at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Professor Samuel Lartey, who made the call, said entrepreneurship required funding and to be able to retain sufficient capital and survive in a challenging economy, it was necessary not to only undertake strategies to rake in more money, but also retain profits that came in.
“Drop it in an Access Bank accounts if you will be tempted.“At worst when the money wants to go, please tell yourself, you will only go and return, when it goes, it should come back with extra money,” Prof. Lartey said during a guest lecture to open the fair yesterday at the AMA Gardens and car park.
Over 150 exhibitors and merchants displayed their products and services at the fair which started three years ago to support small and medium enterprise (SME) development.
Graphic Business, the authoritative niche business newspaper of the Graphic Communications Group Ltd (GCGL), and Access Bank, the multinational universal bank which supports SMEs, organised the two-day fair on the theme: “Running sustainable business in a challenging economic landscape”.
Prof. Lartey said entrepreneurship and SMEs’ development were simply about monetising and commercialising knowledge and ideas.
“An entrepreneur must deliberately ask three questions: What must I stop doing to become a better business person or entrepreneur?
What must I start doing to make me a better entrepreneur and what must I continue doing?” he said.
He further challenged entrepreneurs to rise up to the current economic turbulence in the country and proffer solutions to ensure a turnaround.
“This current economic turbulence throws a challenge to entrepreneurs and an opportunity for SMEs to salvage the situation and step in to kick the economy to grow once again,” Prof. Lartey added.
The Managing Director of GCGL, Ato Afful, charged the entrepreneurs to change the narrative about indigenous Ghanaian businesses in the country by tapping into the experiences of the partnership between the two companies to sustain their businesses.
With Graphic as a knowledge house with information about successful businesses spanning over seven decades, coupled with Access Bank’s expertise, the MD said focusing on those institutions would guide them on their paths to becoming successful entrepreneurs.
Mr Afful wondered why only a few indigenous companies were able to survive many decades despite the shocks.
He, therefore, urged the participants not to lean backwards but be relentless in their pursuit of success.
In spite of challenges, Mr Afful urged the SMEs to come to the edge with their businesses.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Managing Director of Access Bank, Olumide Olatunji, said since the fair was launched three years ago, Access Bank had been intentional and consistent in promoting the cause of SMEs.
As a result of the partnership, he said over 170,000 SMEs had been equipped with digital and vital soft skills to impact their businesses.
The bank, Mr Olatunji said, launched SMEs in Focus in 2022, in collaboration with Graphic Business, to further extend their commitment to sharing essential information for SMEs to remain competitive.
He added that the bank had also provided working capital support in excess of GH¢300 million to boost SMEs' capital base and aid their expansion.
“As a go-to bank for SMEs, we remain committed to fostering the sustainable growth of SMEs in Ghana,” the Access Bank MD said.
He further encouraged participants to seize the opportunity to elevate their businesses, adding that Access Bank was always ready to provide the support they needed to excel.
“Let us continue to collaborate, innovate and drive the success of SMEs in our community to impact Ghana, Africa and beyond,” Mr Olatunji stated.
A Tax and Regulatory Services expert with Deloitte Ghana, Gideon Ayo-Owoo, stressed the need for small businesses to incorporate tax obligations into the lifeline of their companies at an early stage.
He explained that it was always important for them to keep records, including receipts and transactions, on a daily basis.
That, Mr Ayo-Owoo said, would ensure that they did not experience any surprises when the tax authorities called on them.