UMB inaugurates PPP incubator centre for one district, one factory initiative

Ghana’s leading bank in Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) services, Universal Merchant Bank (UMB) has added on to its long and proud history of developing businesses in the country since October 2016 by unveiling the UMB Centre for Businesses in Ashtown, Kumasi. The vision of the UMB Centre for Businesses is to set a new standard in the delivery of SME banking services and to enhance the competitiveness of UMB in the SME market. This vision has been given a boost with the inauguration of the second UMB Centre for Businesses in Madina, Accra. This UMB Centre for Businesses, just like the first one in Ashtown, Kumasi, will offer quick and relevant financial and non-financial services to SMEs in Accra and its environs. The Chief Executive Officer of UMB, Mr. John Awuah, said the unique needs of SMEs cannot be addressed by the traditional operational parameters of most banks hence UMB’s decision to invest in the establishment of the UMB Centre for Businesses. According to Mr. Awuah, the UMB Centre for Businesses “was set up to address the risk and growth needs of SMEs in a manner that is efficient and streamlines the often cumbersome process of accessing credit and advisory support.” At the event, the Bank also outdoored the UMB PPP Incubator Centre, a ground breaking concept that will partner with the government and the private sector to support the One District, One Factory initiative.  It will be recalled that UMB recently pledged to create liquidity space of up to 100 million US Dollars to support this initiative. This means that for qualified private sector businesses who want to partner with the government to build factories in the districts, the UMB PPP Incubator Centre will provide a wide range of services including technical support and financing to enable them to complete their projects. Speaking at the event, UMB Board Chairperson, Mrs. Elizabeth Zormelo noted that “even though the UMB PPP Incubator Centre was established to primarily support the One District, One Factory initiative, it will also support other Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects that are not necessarily linked to the One District, One Factory Initiative.” Mrs. Zormelo further stated that while UMB will continue to develop and invest in its retail banking infrastructure, the bank will also build strategic partnerships that will help to cement its position as the preeminent bank for corporates and SMEs in Ghana. TheUMB Director of Consumer and Business Banking, Mr. Kevin Cain who has responsibility for the strategy and operations of both Centres, stated that, “UMB’s reputation as a business friendly bank is once again demonstrated by the inauguration of not one, but two Centres to support the needs of enterprises in various sectors of the economy.” According to Mr. Cain,“To us at UMB, small business isbig business and we believe in pursuing initiatives that have the potential to positively impact the growth of Ghana’s economy. I encourage all business owners and private sector organizations to visit the UMB Centre for Businesses and the UMB PPP Incubator Centre, and our friendly and knowledgeablestaff will be more than happy to assist them.” Both the UMB Centre for Businesses and the UMB PPP Incubator Centre are located in Madina on the Accra Dodowa Road near Peter Pan restaurant and judging from the reception at the inauguration ceremony, these centres will transform banking in the SME and public private partnership space.

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