Invest In Africa (IIA), an enterprise that accelerates the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa, has been awarded Best Non-Profit Organisation by the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG), for the second year running.
Now in its 31st installment, the CIMG Annual Marketing Performance Awards set the benchmark for high marketing standards in corporate Ghana.
The award recognises IIA’s efforts – which focus on improving access to skills, finance and markets to improve business sustainability, competitiveness and efficiency – over the course of 2019.
Most notably, this involved growing the access to finance pillar, of which Absa Ghana and the GCB Bank were major contributors; with IIA facilitating a total of USD2.1 million in debt financing to SMEs since 2017.
Another defining feature of IIA’s 2019 efforts involved help provided to build resilience of hundreds of SMEs, including 100 SMEs within AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi Mine’s business enclave. By leveraging its extensive network, IIA develops business linkages between SMEs and larger companies, like local and multinational corporations, enhancing opportunities, improving access to finance and creating greater revenue certainty by providing security of fixed contracts. In supporting these businesses, IIA ensures a level of compatibility between suppliers and operational standards expected by multinational companies.
These SMEs continue to leverage these insights and knowledge to expand their client base, reducing reliance on a single corporation, and its cyclical nature. IIA’s work in fostering business resilience has been crucial to SMEs damaged by the effects of the Covid19 pandemic.
As part of a two-year partnership with the Mastercard Foundation launched in July 2020, IIA is currently delivering online coaching, masterclasses and peer-to-peer sessions, while offering a repository of practical guides, which has so far helped 1,250 businesses navigate this difficult period by building immediate and long-term resilience.
The programme with Mastercard Foundation will also provide Ghanaian SMEs with one-on-one consultancy support and better business linkages for 100 Ghanaian SMEs operating in the manufacturing, agriculture, extractives and ICT sectors, to bridge supply shortfalls.
These SMEs will also be supported in establishing relationships with lenders and investors. IIA won the same award in 2018, for widening commercial opportunities for multiple SMEs – enhanced by the African Development Bank (AfDB) funded training and in-company mentoring Business Linkage Programme (BLP). Clarence Nartey, Invest In Africa’s Country Director for Ghana, commented on the award win,
“To have our efforts acknowledged for a second consecutive year is testament to the commitment of our team to transform SMEs into sustainable ventures. SMEs are often reliant on a single industry and as business disruptions have displayed this year, that can be disastrous. This is why we continue to develop their business independence and it is humbling to be recognized for this work.