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Ghana to establish SME Fund

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kaneshie_marketThe National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) is to establish a Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SME) Fund.

The establishment of the fund would help  to reduce the challenges SMEs face in accessing capital, Mr Lukman Abdul-Rahim, NBSSI Executive Director, told the Ghana News Agency, in an interview on Tuesday in Accra.

He said discussions were far advanced with the Ghana Commercial Bank to provide funds to start the scheme.

Mr  Abdul-Rahim  said the cost of obtaining credit facility by SMEs in Ghana was very high,  making it very difficult for SMEs to be able to compete fairly with well-established corporate organizations.

He said the NBSSI has noted with concern that due to the fact that the definition of what constitute micro, small and medium enterprises in Ghana has not been reviewed over the past 16 years; various institutions had their own definitions for the sector making it difficult to compare the statistics from these various institutions.

Mr Abdul-Rahim said it was also noteworthy that the Ghanaian economy has achieved some level of significance since the last definitions in 1998,  rendering this exercise relevant and timely.

He said NBSSI has  decided to review the definition of the SME sector in the country G under the sponsorship of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSMEs) at MOTI.

Mr Abdul-Rahim said a Committee comprising various stakeholders has been formed to review the definition of MSMEs.

He said the NBSSI would undertake activities this year aimed at enhancing the technological capacities of SMEs in Ghana.

Mr Abdul-Rahim  said most SMEs lack the technological know-how, and often relay on outmoded equipment in their production, processing and packaging; hence the need to bridge the gap of technological know-how of SMEs.

He  said the NBSSI had already received one million Ghana Cedis from the Export Development and Agricultural Investment Fund for it.

Mr Abdul-Rahim said the Board intended to select and train 1,240 clients across the nation on how to improve their businesses and also access the international market.

He  said it had  received about one million Ghana cedis from the African Development Bank to enhance their staff capacity and some of their clients in the areas of product development, market access, quality assurance and export trade.

Mr Abdul-Rahim  said NBSSI intended to build a data base on SMEs in Ghana to be placed on its  website so that it would facilitate easy access to information on SMEs to the general public; adding that they would identify 100 products for the project.

He commended the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Commonwealth Secretariat for their support over the years.

Mr Abdul-Rahim  said the NDSSI  was providing entrepreneurship training for people across the nation; and called on the youth to take the initiative seriously .

He said NBSSI was doing its best to be able to provide kits or starter fund for them to take off with their businesses when the SMEs Fund becomes operational.

The NBSSI is a non-profit public sector organisation, set-up in 1985 under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, to offer business development services for micro and small enterprises.

Source: GNA

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