The government has committed to an ambitious vision to transform Ghanaian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) into millionaire companies.

It intends to increase financing for SMEs in critical sectors of the economy, particularly agriculture and agro-processing, and manufacturing, while creating an environment to lessen the risk of commercial banks’ lending to SMEs.

The government would also champion the training of SMEs in business plan preparation, book keeping and basic systems in banking.

This is to build their capacities to understand and meet the conditions to easily access loans from banks, and grants from other development finance institutions for expansion and be able to repay the same.

Dr Mohammed Amin Adam, Finance Minister, said this when he visited some SMEs at a special edition of the Ghana Export-Import Bank (GEXIM), held on Wednesday, May 15, in Accra.

It comes on the back of a strategic partnership between the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), GEXIM, and GCB Bank to invest some US$200 million into Ghanaian SMEs.

He indicated that the government had taken the lead to support these SMEs with more funding through the Ghana Export-Import Bank, and Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA).

This move is to make the SMEs, which constitute about 92 per cent of manufacturing, 70 per cent of growth and provide 80 per cent of jobs, be at the centre of Ghana’s economic growth and stability, he said.

The support, the Minister said, would be given to SMES with “credible business plans, and are manufacturing, those who we can monitor their growth so that over the next 10 years, we can create millionaires out of them.”

He stated that the government had made interventions to address the risk of recovery of funds, which had seen some of the commercial banks  coming onboard to lend to SMEs.

Dr Amin Adam noted there had not been any economy in the world that developed without the contribution of SMEs, hence, the government’s new focus to support them to thrive.

“As the global economic dynamics are no longer favourable in attracting large companies and Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs), we need to learn to grow our economy from and within our borders and the SMEs really standout,” he said.

The Minister called for more institutional support to make the Tuesday market a permanent feature of the country’s commercial space.

“It is important for several reasons; the jobs that are created, the opportunity to grow entrepreneurs and manufacturing businesses, and the growth of our economy,” he said.

Some SMEs who spoke to the Ghana News Agency lauded the Tuesday market initiative as it opened them up to individual and corporate customers and investors.

They called for increased access to finance, which remained a major constraint for their expansion and commercialisation of some products, which were yet to be on the market on a larger scale.

Michael Acquah, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Supreme Podz Industry Limited, an SME that produces fruit juice from cocoa pulps, summed the challenges of SMEs in the country.

“Our installed capacity is about two tonnes of production per day, but we’re currently doing 500 litres a day. What we need, like many other SMEs, is money to procure logistics and equipment to realise our full scale,” he said.

Ewuradwoa Ahoi, the CEO of made by Rawd, a beauty technology company whose products are made from shea also echoed that financial challenges remained a key hindrance to growth, expansion, and success of Ghanaian SMEs.

“Access to finance is a tedious task, so if the government is to support us more through innovative initiatives, we’ll be able to get our products out of Ghana because there’s demand for it,” Ms Ahoi said.

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