The Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF), has organized its 2010 Road Show programme in Sunyani to sensitise the public about the fund and its eligibility criteria.
The programme attracted about 70 business operators and representatives of small business enterprises in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye Marfo, Regional Minister who addressed the programme, noted that rural poverty is one of the major socio-economic challenges facing the Ghanaian economy.
He expressed regret that several interventions by successive governments to tackle the problem had not achieved the desired impact.
“Even though accessibility to micro-credit has been identified as one of the major drivers to fighting rural poverty, efforts in that direction have remained largely unsuccessful,” he said.
The Regional Minister described the inception of the VCTF as “very relevant in efforts towards grooming small scale enterprises (SMEs)”.
“The main sources of credit of most of these businesses have often been through family members and friends. This is certainly inadequate to accelerate the rate of growth of our economy at the pace we all desire, to reach the middle income status.”
Mr Nyamekye Marfo noted that “businesses of most of our small–medium scale enterprises are either not attractive to the traditional banks or these enterprises are unable to provide the needed collateral to qualify for credits from these banks”.
“Even where they qualify and are granted the loan, the interest is very high. We are however aware that every economy is sustained by its local indigenous enterprises.
“There is no way Ghanaians can expect foreign multi-national companies to develop our economy for us. It is in the light of this that I see Venture Capital Trust Fund to be very relevant in our efforts at grooming SMEs in this country”, he said.
He expressed optimism that the road show initiative would mark the beginning of an easy access to low interest credit to the business community while a lot of people would hear the good message and work to meet the requirements to access the fund for the growth of their businesses.
Making a presentation on the objectives, processes and procedures of the programme, Mr Joe Gyapong, an investment analyst, said the fund had made provision for capital to finance companies for venture capital investments in SMEs and the development of a vibrant venture capital industry in Ghana.
Touching on where to access venture capital funds, he stated that VCTF had established five venture financing companies, namely Activity Venture Finance Company, Bedrock Venture Finance Company, Fidelity Equity Fund II, Gold Venture Finance Company and Ebankese Venture Fund.
Mr Gyapong said the funds could be accessed through these companies after business proposals had gone through due process.
Mr Daniel Duku, Chief Executive Officer, VCTF, announced that a two million- dollar facility is available as business technical fund for interested groups to access for special business interventions.
Mr Richard Lassey, Member of Parliament for Keta, who presided, advised Ghanaians to change their mentality and the way they do things in order to benefit from the fund as it represented contributions from the tax payer.
He said a tax clearance certificate and a bank account are the necessary requirements for SMEs that needed funding.
He urged them to understand the concept of the VCTF, which was about equity, fairness and justice.
Mr Lassey said every Ghanaian is qualified to access the fund, adding “all that is needed is if you will be ready to do serious business with the VCTF with valid documents”.