The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) has made a strong move towards exposing Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises (MSMEs) to financial sources to deal with the long-standing challenge of access to finance which has been noted as a cause of their stagnation.
To this end, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), Kosi Yankey-Ayeh has inaugurated a technical committee to assist the agency to devise innovative ways of improving access to finance for young entrepreneurs.
The GEA has through research noted that the growth path of MSMEs stagnates for a long time due to their inability to access cheap funds to inject into their operations. In some instances, the businesses collapse, as a result, she said.
“It is about time we support MSMEs to move from one stage to another and become giant companies that would contribute more to the economy by not only paying bigger taxes but reducing the nation’s unemployment numbers,” Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh told the B&FT in an interview.
The committee which comprises representatives from some stakeholder groups within the Small Micro Medium enterprises (MSME) sector has a one-year renewable mandate of providing guidance and support to the Financial Service Department (FSD) of the GEA as it implements access to finance-related interventions.
Stakeholder representations on the committee included MSME association members, GEA, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of trade and industry and financial institutions.
Speaking at the first meeting of the committee, the CEO said the setting up of the committee was based on research findings that had identified the lack of access to finance and information as the main challenges confronting the MSME sector.
“What we realized was that, a lot of our clientele in Ghana for lack of information did not know how to access information and so two years ago we undertook a study and we realized the problems of lack of information and not even knowing how to approach some these financial institutions,” she said.
In rising up to the challenge, the GEA, she said decided to set up the committee to look into designing interventions that would be implemented by the FSD to solve problems of financial inclusion, financial literacy and access to finance as a whole.
She added that, “our current strategic plan from 2021 to 2025 has a view of building a resilient and competitive MSME and wants to set up an FSD to develop strategy to address challenges for access to finance for MSMEs”.
The facilitation of access to finance she said was a component of the agency’s mandate which has seen the setting up of the MSME Fund.
She, therefore, disclosed that two policy documents which are the innovative financial product and financial directory have been developed to assist MSMEs to gain more insight into funding.
Furthermore, she reiterated that activities undertaken by the ministry of finance and the Ministry of trade to promote financial inclusion and to build the resilience of SMEs, respectively, would not materialize without interventions to address issues relating to access to finance.