Invest In Africa has organised a training workshop on best practices in procurement processes and how to access finance to grow their businesses.
The training programme, which was held in Accra, had more than 130 entrepreneurs in the SME sector attending.
The training, Invest In Africa say, was borne out of the fact that most SMEs do not have the adequate knowledge and expertise in procurement processes, thereby, making them miss out on a lot of contracts that should have come their way if they had such capacity.
The facilitator of the training, Collins Agyemang Sarpong, President of the Ghana Institute of Procurement and Supply advised SMEs to get professionals to assist them on procurement processes before they bid for tenders.
“SMEs must know that procurement is a specialized area so they must get a professional to guide them so that they will do a proper bid document if there is a tender. Procurement is a process, technicality, and competition and so you must present your documents well or you will be disqualified.
And they must also keep their records well and do their banking transactions well so that when they win tenders, they can go to the bank for capital,” he said.
He further urged them to be ethical and avoid cutting corners in getting procurement contracts from government.
Also facilitating the access to finance session, Head of SME Banking, Barclays Bank, Audrey Abakah also urged SMEs to put in place the necessary structures which will boost their capacity and qualify them to access huge funding and other facilities offered by the bank and other financial institutions which requires a collateral.
“One of the challenges we have realized with SMEs is diversion of funds. They come to the bank to borrow money for purpose A, and you give them the funds but they end up using the funds for purpose B. once that happens, it eventually makes it difficult to pay back.
Again, most SMEs do not send their cash received on daily basis to the bank, and banks assess an SME based on what our systems have captured. So we are advising SMEs that if they make turnovers, they should deposit that money at the bank because it helps us to actually have a view of monthly and annual turnover upon which we take decisions when it comes to funding your business,” she said.