Breakfast Meeting with High Commission
The Trade Commission Service of the Canadian High Commission in collaboration with the Canada Ghana Chamber of Commerce organized a breakfast and networking event on the theme “ Growing SMEs”. The essence of the event was to officially welcome the new High Commissioner and also to discuss ways in which companies in the Chamber can receive funding to support their businesses The New High Commissioner to Ghana, Togo, and Sierra Leone, Her Excellency Martine Moreau in her opening address mentioned that the Commission is ready to support SME Financing and to help build a strong and thriving SME sector in Ghana. As part of the event was a panel discussion. The Panelists were Mrs. Kosi Yankey-Ayeh (CEO, Ghana Enterprise Agency), Mr. David Tetteh (Consultant, Ghana Stock Exchange), and Mr. Kinsley Adofo-Addo (Head of SME Banking, Ecobank Ghana). The three panelists engaged with participants and discussed how they can access funds for their businesses. They also provided some solutions to some challenges that hinder the growth of businesses. In answering the question about the unavailability of funding for SMEs, Mrs. Kosi Yankey-Ayeh urged participants to break and debunk the myth that surrounds the difficulty of receiving funding from her agency while encouraging SMEs to apply to the Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA) for resources to expand their businesses. She explained that GEA is committed to providing resources that will ease SMEs’ transition from a start-up to a thriving business and are dedicated to promoting and developing Micro, Small, and Mediums Enterprises (MSME) in Ghana with a special focus on women, youth, and persons with disability. In answering participants’ questions about requirements and criteria for listings on the Ghana Stock Exchange Mr. David Tetteh explained that companies listing must have a minimum stated capital of at least Ghc 1 million, the companies must also have a minimum public floated share of not less than twenty-five percent (25%). He further explained that Shares floated must be fully paid for and shares must be spread to at least 100 shareholders after the public offer of the main market. The question on accessing Loans and their high-interest rates from banks were answered by Mr. Kingsley Adofo-Addo who told participants that their outfit is ready to support SMEs with facilities at a good rate looking at the current state of the economy. He mentioned that it is evident that SMEs continue to play a very vital role by providing critical goods and services, creating jobs, helping to reduce poverty, and providing economic growth hence the need for financial support. One major challenge hindering the growth of SMEs in Ghana is Corporate Governance and the panelists admonished members to practice good business standards so they can qualify to access funding that is available here in Ghana. The President of the Chamber, Mr. Alexander Nortey closing the event thanked the Trade Commissioner Service Team for the initiative. He also encouraged members to adhere to good corporate governance standards to enable them to access funding to expand their businesses.