United Bank for Africa (UBA) Ghana has organised series of workshops for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) to educate them to overcome credit accessibility constraints in the country. The first workshop which was held in Accra brought together SME’s ranging from importers, contractors, suppliers, traders among others.
The second in series will also be held at the AMA Conference Hall on the 22nd October, with the last session to be held in Kumasi next month.
Giving the keynote address, the Deputy Managing Director for UBA Ghana, Mrs. Sylvia Inkoom, said the seminar will create awareness to SMEs on several products and services available to them in order to gain access to UBA loan facilities.
Mrs. Inkoom noted that Micro Medium and Small Enterprises (MSMEs) constitute about 85 percent of all businesses in Ghana.
She noted that: “even though well-functioning Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are a fundamental part of the economic fabric in developing countries and play a crucial role in contributing to GDP growth, reducing unemployment as well as furthering innovation and prosperity, they are saddled with a myriad of challenges that stifle their growth.”
She stated that one of such challenges is accessing the capital that they require to grow, expand and to function properly.
“That’s why UBA has made available resource persons who will assist us to overcome the challenges we are currently facing in accessing finance for our business. UBA has an array of products that have been well positioned to cushion and support businesses. Our products such as UBA Connect, Africash, AfriTrade and digital products like LEO also gives businesses the opportunity to trade across the African continent,” she emphasised
She however bemoaned SMEs’ lack of proper records keeping as one major factor that keeps them away from accessing loans.
“As SMEs, it is important to develop how to keep accurate and systematic financial records for short- and long-term strategic business growth decisions and benefits. I understand that, at times some SMEs do not even want to apply for credit as a result of varying reasons that stem from the financial institution’s side, but if the right documentation is available, access to finance will be easier and faster,” she said.
She further assured UBA’s commitment in ensuring quality customer service and product for clients. “As a customer-centric bank, we are focused on delivering superior banking products and services to our customers and this seminar is evidence that we want to do more than banking,” she said.
Participants at the seminar expressed excitement saying, the workshop has been an eye-opener on some of the products and services available to them.
A representative from the Trade Union Congress, Dr Gabriel Donkoh, noted that the significant contribution of SMEs to the growth and development of national economies were globally acknowledged.
He said the sector was seen as the main driver for innovation, economic growth and job creation.
“All over the world SMEs employ a larger proportion of the labour force. In developing countries SMEs employ over half of the working population and act as a vehicle for poverty reduction,” he said.
He said in Ghana SMEs account for about 92 per cent of all private businesses and provide close to 85 per cent of employment in the manufacturing sector.