The management of the Universal Merchant Bank has earmarked 100 million dollars to support government’s one district, one factory initiative. The Board of Directors of UMB Bank led by its Board Chairperson, Mrs. Betty Zormelo, disclosed this when they paid a courtesy call on the President Nana Akufo-Addo at the Flagstaff House in Accra on Thursday. The 2017 Budget Statement and Economic Policy sets various bold agenda for the transformation of the economy of Ghana, through industrialisation. One of the flagship concepts under this transformation agenda is the “One District, One Factory” concept, under which the government plans to support the creation and growth of small and medium scale factories in all 216 districts in Ghana. The focus of the meeting was on the President’s flagship agenda of One District One Factory initiative. According to the government, the initiative is built on enhancing the competitive advantage of each district, through industrialisation, and shall be implemented hand-in-hand with the private sector through various private public partnerships (PPP). However, due to the dire economic circumstances in which Ghana currently finds itself, the government is limited in its ability to provide funding for this project. To ensure the success of this concept therefore, the government is partnering with UMB Bank as its financial partner to implement the One District One Factory concept. Universal Merchant Bank (UMB), formerly Merchant Bank Ghana Ltd, was a full-fledged merchant bank and can be accredited with the growth of numerous Small and Medium Scale enterprises in Ghana. President Nana Akufo-Addo also lauded the strong partnership of his Government with UMB Bank to establish a Public Private Partnership Incubation Centre to Support Government’s One District One Factory initiative. The President described the announcement as one of his birthday gifts, saying it is a welcome news to him and his government. He tasked the Trade and Industry Ministry to strongly partner with the bank to ensure that the product of the bank is harnessed by interested businesses who buy into the one district, one factory vision of the government. Speaking at the courtesy call on the President Nana Akufo-Addo, the Board Chairperson, Mrs Betty Zormelo stated that the experience of UMB as a Merchant Bank will be leveraged a “UMB PPP Incubator Centre” solely for the purpose of supporting the needs of enterprises that seek to partner with the government on the “One District, One Factory” concept. We at UMB are “Big on Small Business” and we see this as an opportunity to offer our expertise in the sustainable implementation of this transformational agenda. She continued to state that “we understand the business of banking SME’s and know that SMEs do not grow by simply advancing loans to them. The UMB PPP Incubator Centre will therefore provide a range of services and technical support, with the aid of our Investment Banking affiliate, UMB Capital”. The Centre will also provide the following services, among others
- Business Plan Development
- Financing for SME’s
- Linking Local Businesses to International and local partnership and funding sources
- Funds Management for SMEs
- Business Advisory services, including: corporate governance, business strategy, internal controls, business development initiatives, marketing and succession planning, among other things.