GEA sets up department to support MSMEs

August 9, 2021 / Comments (0)

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The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) has established a financial services department (FSD) to design solutions that can help address bottlenecks hindering micro small medium enterprises (MSMEs) from accessing funds.

The move is expected to position businesses in the MSMEs space to become key players in the government’s agenda to industrialise the country.

inaugurating the GEA Access to Finance Technical Committee in Accra last Tuesday the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GEA, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, said the agency was expected to play a key role in supporting MSMEs to become players in the value chain of the industrialisation process.

The committee

The committee is to provide inputs for the creation and implementation of the MSME Fund, identify partner institutions to drive GEA’s Access to Finance initiatives and provide inputs that will help expand GEA’s funding portfolio and global reach.

It is also to provide inputs into national policies related to MSMEs access to finance and any additional matters delegated to the committee.

The committee’s mandate, which shall be in force for one year, has representatives from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), Ministry of Finance (MoF), Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB), Bank of Ghana (BoG), Universal Bank and ARB Apex Bank.

Others are representatives from GEA, Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Association of Small Scale Industries (ASSI), and Angel or Impact Investment community.

Strategic support

Mrs Yankey-Ayeh stated that the committee required strategic support to build capacities and competitiveness of the MSMEs to suppliers or partners, creating the necessary forward and backward linkages.

He said the GEA Act 2000, Act 1043 which transformed the NBSSI, expanded the mandate of the institution as the apex body for the MSME sector.

“One of the objects of the agency is to facilitate the access by MSMEs to financial and non-financial resources including credit facilities and professional services, machinery, equipment, and raw material inputs from domestic and international sources,” she said.

MSME policy

The CEO explained that the National MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy, the blueprint for the growth and development of the MSME sector, proposes some policy prescriptions to be implemented by the government to improve access to reliable and affordable funding for MSMEs.

These include re-orienting and encouraging financial institutions, export finance institutions and leasing companies to scale-up special lending windows for MSMEs.

Supporting MSMEs to access innovative long-term financing packages for their sustainable development and encouraging angel financing and venture capital arrangements to inject capital into viable start-ups and MSMEs.

It is also to institutionalise targeted financing within the EXIM framework for export-focused MSMEs, collaborating with the private sector to set up concessionary bank loan schemes for women and youth entrepreneurship development and strengthening the capacities of MSMEs on the preparation of business plans, accounting and book-keeping and use of IT-based accounting packages.

She said the GEA, therefore, under the Act was expected to implement strategies to ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of funding for start-ups and existing MSMEs.

According to her, the agency was able to compile a finance directory of all financial institutions in Ghana, including the various products they offered to help bring them to the doorstep of MSMEs.

“Similarly, under the support of MasterCard Foundation, we have developed over 10 innovative and competitive financial products to help address the financial hurdles of MSMEs,” she added.

Source: Graphic Online

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