In collaboration with Access Bank, the funding partners and the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), the company will on September 15th 2009, therefore, launch its SME Centre to provide advisory and professional services to kick start the project.
In a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency on Thursday, Ms Diana Owusu Antwi, the SME Centre Project Coordinator said, the idea is to promote matching of domestic business opportunities and international linkages to enable SMEs evolve their domestic businesses into an export driven model.
“The FirstBanc SME Centre is tailored to provide Management Information Services, business support and acceleration services to SMEs as well as industry expertise and identify opportunities in the market that SMEs can exploit.
“In addition, SMEs in need of funding will be linked to our funding partners,” she explained.
The SME Advisory Global, Ms Owusu Antwi said, would offer creative advice to existing SMEs on the choice of financial instruments available to them in the financial markets.
“Ultimately, we aim at moving a large section of SMEs out of the informal sector to the formal sector, a merger between groups of SMEs as well as a listing of some SMEs on the Ghana Stock Exchange”, Ms Owusu-Antwi said.
For the SME Professional, she said, it is a special package directed at graduates, who plan to set up their own private businesses as well as enterprises with few years of experience that wish to expand.
The centre, she noted, would then assess their growth potential and opportunities and prescribe an appropriate means of funding or assistance.
She added that the essence was to assist enterprises seeking funding to undertake research, product development and innovations among other things.
SMEs in Ghana form about 82% of the business community and with information asymmetry and the high-risk perception of their activities, it is difficult for most of them to access funding for their operations.