POSITION YOURSELF WELL TO ATTRACT FUNDS – CEO TELLS SMALL BUSINESSES.

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A team leader of Frontier Market Advisor, a
business solution firm, Mr Dode Seidu, has
advised small and medium scale enterprises
(SMEs) in the country to properly position
themselves to attract the needed funds to
boost their businesses.
He was of the view that there were funds
available in the system to augment their
business operations but noted that unless they
opened up to outsiders who had the funds to
partner them, the finance needed to keep them
in business would continue to elude them.
“If you don’t open up in order to attract
investors, you will continue to cry that there is
no funding to help you to expand, but I think
there are a number of avenues for financing,”
Mr Seidu said at a day’s forum organised by
the Federation of Association of Ghanaian
Exporters (FAGE) in Accra.
He was speaking on the topic, “accessing long-
term financing for the private sector.”
With support from the BUSAC Fund, FAGE
sought to push for long-term financing as a
sure way of sustaining the growth of SMEs in
the country.
Mr Seidu advised SMEs to seek financial advice
by engaging experts to shape their proposals to
be attractive for long-term financing.
He took the participants through various
sources of funding and what SMEs in the
country could do in order to access such
funds.
He said in actual fact, there were a number of
sources of funding, “but the only challenge is
that almost all of them are offering short-term
financing, which does not favour the SMEs.”
Mr Seidu said it was highly impossible for the
SMEs to exist and compete favourably with
their counterparts anywhere in the world,
where special concessions were given to SMEs.
He said it was in that vein that he was
advocating the speedy establishment of the
Ghana EXIM Bank, which would have the
capacity to offer lower interest rates to
exporters and SMEs.
Mr Seidu, however, proposed that when
established, appointment to management
position should not be politicised, rather
people should be engaged based on their
competencies and purely on merit.
He, therefore, called for more advocacy among
exporters and the private sector in general to
get government to ensure that such a bank was
brought to reality.
Mr Seidu said earlier, the Agricultural
Development Bank, the Bank for Housing and
Construction and the National Investment Bank
were among other attempts to get financial
institutions to be tailored towards the needs of
the business sector but which were not
feasible.
He explained that those institutions, including
the Business Assistant Fund, Venture Capital
Trust and EDAIF, could not function as
expected because all were depending on
government for funds.
The Vice President of FAGE, Ms Marjorie Abdin,
said the biggest constraint to members of FAGE
and indeed, the private sector, was the
absence of long-term financing and low
interest rate.
She cited Japan as a country that had long-
term financing with negative interest rate for
its private sector and wondered why Ghana
could not adopt such.
Ms Abdin said unfortunately, no attention had
been paid to long-term financing and said as it
stood; the golden age of business as touted by
government would be a mirage.
The Deputy Fund Manager/Grants Manager of
BUSAC Fund, Mr Zakaria Umar Sumaila, urged
the group and other identifiable groups to
engage in advocacy work to press home their
needs.
During an open forum, participants appealed
to the government not to wholly absorb EDAIF
with the establishment of the Ghana EXIM
Bank.
They said EDAIF remained relevant for the
SMEs in terms of capacity building, technical
training among others, which would be outside
the purview of an EXIM Bank.

Source : ghanaweb.com

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