GIZ Ghana, through its Reform and Investment Partnership project, the Migration and Employment Promotion component and Financial System Development component under the Programme for Sustainable Economic Development, and the Special Initiative for Training and Job creation (SI Jobs) programme, held a two-day forum dubbed, “Access to Finance”, from 30 June – 1 July in Takoradi, Western Region targeted at Micro, Small and Medium sized Enterprises (MSMEs).
In the region, the forum sought to provide relevant insights on how SMEs in Takoradi can effectively access finance for the growth of their enterprises and further bridge the gap of understanding between financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies, and business owners.
The event was also in collaboration with various innovation hubs including Duapa Werkspace, the Social Entrepreneurship Hub, ICODE and Sekondi Takoradi Chamber of Commerce.
Various experts in the field of entrepreneurship and business financing including Ernest Senyo Dzandu (Head – CDC Consult), Ebenezer Asumang (Senior Project Manager – Piron Global Development), James Arthur-Amoah (Director of Projects – Social Entrepreneurship Hub) expounded on various pertinent issues touching on business development and digitalization as well as fund raising for SMEs.
The Access to finance forum, which was first organised in the Ashanti and Bono regions last year, continually seeks to provide business owners or entrepreneurs with the opportunity to discuss and find solutions to challenges of accessing finance for their businesses.
As the forum consistently improves from region to region, this year’s forum in Takoradi included a pitching competition, which saw several SMEs pitch their businesses for the chance to win various logistics like laptops and mobile phones, contributing towards improving the digitalisation of their businesses.
Various financial institutions were present including Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, Allianz insurance and Glico insurance.
Participants of the forum also had the opportunity to register for a MoMo merchant SIM with MTN, allowing them to transact business using mobile money.
An entrepreneur, Isaac, reiterated the impact of the event, saying, “I am particularly grateful for the rich feedback and encouragement given by the judges during my pitch. I commend GIZ and Duapa Werkspace (local innovation hub) for the immense work they are putting into transforming local businesses to become competent players both locally and on the global front”.
Since 2020, the forum has reached over 200 business owners with pertinent information on accessing finance for their businesses and improve their ability to generate capital through various funding strategies. The next destinations for the Forum are the Volta and Greater Accra Regions.