Gov’t introduces 3 credit provision schemes to curb financing challenges for SMEs

Access to credit for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMES) as well as the private sector, is expected to be easier in the coming year. This is because of the introduction of 3 credit provision avenues by government, as stated by the finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta during the 2020 budget reading on Wednesday, November 13. Access to finance and the high cost of credit continue to impact negatively on the operations of Small and Medium Enterprises in the country. The situation has been attributed to the absence of adequately resourced institutions as well as some macro-economic policies that discourage granting of credit due to the high risks associated with some SMEs. The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) for instance, at a stakeholders’ forum, revealed that almost all proposals by its members to secure funding from the Export, Trade Agricultural and Industrial Development Fund (EDAIF), were denied in 2015. The Venture Capital Fund among others which was established to provide funding for SMEs has not also lived up to expectation since its establishment, over a decade ago, due to its over-reliance on budgetary support from government. But finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta has assured that, these challenges will be reduced because of the introduction of the Enterprise Credit Scheme, the National Development Bank and the Mobile Quick Loan Scheme. All three schemes will be operational in the first quarter of 2020, with the National Development Bank starting off with a seed capital of 250 million cedis, while, the Enterprise Credit Scheme begins with 2 billion cedis. According to the finance minister, “these credit schemes will break the age long challenge, faced by SMEs, and ensure that, they play their role of forming the basics of the economy.” “These schemes will provide funding for sectors including agric, manufacturing, tourism, technology, and players in the informal sector, including market women”, the minister added.

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By Grace Asare||Ghana]]>