The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce (GNCCI), in collaboration with Development Bank Ghana (DBG), has formally launched the first phase of a flagship capacity-building initiative. The programme aims to develop and reinforce the business skills of 1000 SMEs from across Ghana’s private sector to improve their commercial operations and enable them to remain competitive.
The workshops will be organised in five locations (Accra, Koforidua, Tarkwa, Takoradi, and Cape Coast) with a focus on three main aspects, i.e.: preparation; event day; and follow-ups. Overall, these workshops are aimed at training businesses to scale up their operations as well as adopt operating models that better position them to access loans from DBG’s participating financial institutions.
The workshop will initially identify 500 SMEs (100 per location), derived from baseline data that covers businesses by sector, region, and ownership (women-led/ youth), to be trained on the use of the Ghana Integrated Financial Ecosystem (GIFE) digital platform. The workshop shall focus on Environmental, Social and Governance Practices; the introduction of Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs); risk management and market development strategies. An important goal is to ensure a greater representation of women- and youth-led MSMEs as participants in the five workshops
The success of the capacity building workshops will be measured by the following:
- 500 SMEs are trained on the GIFE digital platform with a good representation of women-led and youth-led businesses
- Over half of the SMEs are supported to apply for DBG funding through the participating financial institutions.
- Baseline data of 500 SMEs are gathered for monitoring and evaluation as well as for impact assessment
Mr. Michael Mensah-Baah, the Deputy CEO of DBG, indicated that the Bank has been designed to help relieve the bottlenecks that have hindered the availability of long-term, competitively priced loans, to small and medium-sized enterprises in Ghana. According to him, small business owners often do not have access to the long-term capital they need to grow and are often seen as too risky by banks. “Addressing the lack of long-term financing that drives the kinds of investment that will lead to sustainable growth, is a gap that must be addressed,” the Deputy CEO said.
DBG views partnerships as critical to the way it executes its work. “We are very grateful to GNCCI for organising this capacity-building programme to develop and strengthen the soft and hard skills of its SME members to stay competitive, build resilience and grow their businesses sustainably,” he added.
In his remarks, Mr. Clement Osei-Amoako the President of the Chamber said the skills development programme is to provide 1000 MSMEs with the requisite skills to scale-up their business operations and de-risk them towards accessing long-term capital. Specifically, we are targeting MSMEs in the following sectors with consideration for women-led businesses, youth-led businesses, and environmental and social management system:
- Agribusiness – those that are into the production of perennial and non-perennial crops, trade, supporting activities to agriculture and post-harvest crop activities, and animal production.
- Manufacturing – those that into the transformation of raw materials into finished products or intermediary goods, including the processing of agricultural products.
- High-value services – these include information technology and communication, tourism and related activities, health, education, transport, and storage, among others that generate employment or significant value to the economy.
Accordingly, the GNCCI commends government for the establishment of DBG as an enabler for businesses in Ghana and as a long-term capital provider in the market. We believe this has come at a crucial moment to address the difficulty in accessing long-term capital amidst the rising cost of doing business owing to both local and global shocks. More importantly, the GNCCI calls for a smart, innovative and indigenous way of addressing the collateral-issue in order not to impede business access to capital. Also, DBG’s Participating Financial Institutions must ensure that bankable projects are given the nod to boost the confidence of our businesses as well as entrepreneurs.
Mr. Amoako expressed gratitude for this unique collaboration with DBG to empower MSMEs in Ghana. “Let me assure you that the GNCCI remains dedicated to promoting and protecting commercial and industrial interests via its cutting-edge business support services. Now is a better time to join and partner with the GNCCI to build a resilient and competitive private sector” he added.