Business News of Saturday, 27 August 2016
The Managing Director (MD) of GCB Bank, Mr. Ernest Mawuli Agbesi has stated that, SMEs could be supported with timely credit facilities to the tune of GHC50,000 to grow their business.
According to the MD this is a short to medium term financing with no collateral required.
Mr. Agbesi disclosed this at the SME Business Forum in Accra on the theme; Sustaining SME Opportunities in Today’s Market.
Speaking passionately about SMEs, Mr. Agbesi said SMEs play an important role as the engine of growth for Ghana’s economy contributing to about 70% of Ghana’s GDP.
He further explained that SMEs account for 85% of manufacturing employment, as well as 75% of employment in general.
Mr. Agbesi indicated that despite the significance of SMEs, they are often faced with the threat of failure with statistics indicating that three out of every five fail within the first few months.
He stated bluntly that SME operators have established that SMEs find it difficult to meet bank requirements for facilities to either start their business or expand.
“Some financial institutions have very high lending rates thus making it unattractive for start-ups to borrow since repayment could be difficult. There is also the perception of an inherent risk in lending to SMEs.
“As Ghana’s largest indigenous bank with the development and growth of local business at the core of our strategy, GCB is confident to say we will ensure the success of the SME and informal sector for the good of the national economy. This underlines our strong commitment to inject life into SMEs with the right mix of products and services”, he added.
In order to make SMEs operate efficiently and more effectively, Mr. Agbesi indicated that GCB has developed an automated scoring system for efficient lending decisions to manage SME facilities.
The facilities include bridge loans, overdrafts, lines of credit, term loans and contingent liability.
“May I urge you all to stay in close contact with your SME Specialist to understand what GCB has on offer for SMEs. Where others see business with SMEs as risky, we at GCB see business with the SME as an opportunity to develop, nurture, grow and support a potential home-grown multi-national company”, he added.