The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) has collaborated with the Development Bank Ghana (DBG) to initiate the initial phase of a capacity-building workshop aimed at benefiting 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Ghana.
This effort aligns with DBG’s dedication to nurturing strong partnerships that enhance the capabilities of SMEs. The workshop has been meticulously designed to empower SMEs with skills across diverse business domains, thereby improving their ability to secure funding from DBG’s partner financial institutions (PFIs) and establish sustainable enterprises.
The inaugural session of the workshop took place in Accra two weeks ago, attracting 94 SMEs operating within DBG’s core sectors of focus: agribusiness, information technology, manufacturing, and high-value services. Notably, this focus also includes women-led and youth-led enterprises.
During the event in Accra, Mr. Clement Osei-Amoako, the Chamber’s president, highlighted the program’s goal of equipping 1,000 MSMEs with essential skills to expand their business activities and reduce risks, ultimately facilitating access to long-term capital. Deputy CEO of DBG, Michael Mensah-Baah, reiterated the bank’s commitment to contributing to SME growth, an imperative for Ghana’s economic advancement.
The second workshop in the series recently took place in Koforidua, with 100 SMEs participating, over 40% of which were women-owned businesses. Attendees were guided through diverse business subjects by experienced professionals, including risk management, environmental and social governance (ESG), financial management, and entrepreneurship. ESG practises involve a comprehensive assessment of a business to evaluate its impact on stakeholders and the environment.
The overarching theme of this collaborative business skills development initiative is “Empowering SMEs with the necessary business skills for sustainable growth and resilience.” The regional workshops aim to enhance Ghana’s private sector’s business acumen, thereby increasing competitiveness. Upcoming workshops are scheduled for September 13th, 15th, and 20th, 2022, in Tarkwa, Takoradi, and Cape Coast, respectively.
SMEs are encouraged to capitalise on this distinctive opportunity by registering with the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) and integrating into the digital platform, Ghana Integrated Financial Ecosystem (GIFE). The platform operates across five pillars: SME Financial Empowerment, marketplaces and Financial Trade corridors, Connected Digital Financing, Reputational Building, and Equity Growth. This integration provides access to DBG’s loans through participating financial institutions.
The GNCCI is an association established under the Legislative Instrument (611 of 1968; Act 232) with the primary goal of advocating for and safeguarding commercial and industrial interests in Ghana.
DBG follows a wholesale banking model, extending funds to eligible financial institutions for onward lending to Ghanaian businesses within specific industry sectors. Although DBG doesn’t directly lend to SMEs, it leverages the network and infrastructure of partner financial institutions to provide private-sector financing. Moreover, DBG adopts a collaborative approach by offering business advisory services and training to SMEs.
The partnership between DBG and GNCCI aims to foster ongoing collaboration with PFIs, ensure effective financial de-risking for SMEs, and establish a robust monitoring and evaluation framework.