Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Seth Twum Akwaboah, has called on businesses to strategically position themselves to benefit from every opportunity they are exposed to, noting that, “challenges are bound to come but people who strategically position themselves always emerge victors”.
He made this call at the second edition of the Access Bank/Graphic Communications Group Ltd. SME Clinics, aimed at equipping business owners with digital solutions, held at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital.
Speaking on the theme, “Championing the growth of SMEs through digitalization- Madwuma Mpontuo”, during a panel discussion, Mr Twum Akwaboah encouraged business owners to seek support from the appropriate quarters whenever they faced challenges in their businesses.
The Commercial Manager of IPay, Mr Kojo Lartey, also a panel member of the SME Clinic, noted that access to capital was always pivotal for businesses to succeed and commended Access Bank for its innovative digital solutions to businesses. Mr Kenneth Adjei-Fah, Adum TSC Manager for GRA and third panellist, announced digital platforms for the organization, and guided participants, through the processes of filing and making tax payments, at the comfort of their homes.
Delivering the welcome address for the event, Mr Stephen Abban, Divisional Head of Retail Banking at Access Bank Ghana, revealed that over 90% of registered jobs in the country are SMEs, who in turn provide over 80% of jobs to people living in Ghana.
“Access Bank wants to champion the growth of SMEs through the provision of digital solutions to keep businesses relevant, thriving and competitive both now and in the future” he noted. He advised business owners to adopt digitalization, get the right advisory services and explore new opportunities available in the sub-region. Mr Abban added that Access Bank has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainable business practices, driving profitable and sustainable growth that is environmentally responsible and socially relevant since 2009.
The CEO of Prof. Quarm Publications and a guest speaker for the occasion, Mr Joseph Albert Quarm, called on business owners to take a keen interest in documentation, regular assessment of business progress and business diversification, to sustain local businesses and keep them thriving. Mr Quarm stressed the importance of employing digitalization for business communication and noted that virtual communication had become the standard for running businesses efficiently and at a cheaper cost. He pleaded with business owners to take succession plans seriously, to ensure business continuity when owners were no longer in active service.
Also speaking at the event was the CEO of Boris B Farms, Dr Boris Badu, who noted that the success of businesses depended heavily on financial support received by business owners and called on Access Bank and other financial institutions to ease the burden of business owners, by making access to financial support flexible. “We can do a lot for this nation if banks support us”, he noted. He stressed the importance of documentation, as a leading factor to the successes of businesses.
Mr Baba A. Adams, CEO of B. Adams Trading Enterprise Limited and third speaker for the event, cautioned business owners to be vigilant and take precautions as they get into the digital space.
“Digitalization is great but be cautious of the digital space, as many fraudulent activities take place there”, he warned. He, therefore, advised businesses to use recommendations offered by
Access Bank’s digital solutions, to prevent themselves from being exposed to such fraudulent acts.
Paramount Chief of Domeabra, who represented the President of the Ashanti Regional House of Chiefs, Baffour Owusu Bediako, thanked the bank and Graphic Corporations, for bringing this clinic to Kumasi. He advised participants to heed every advice received from the clinic and take advantage of such platforms to grow their businesses.