Experts and executives of the Standard Seed Transformation Network (STN), Ghana Chapter, have equipped youth entrepreneurs and business owners with requisite skills and strategies to raise funds from alternative sources beyond traditional banking to scale-up their businesses.
According to the experts, countries that have developed global giants from the entrepreneurship and small-scale enterprises space developed viable venture capital market, private equity market, the public stock market for long term patient capital, among others, as alternative funding sources where most of those businesses raised their capital to grow, hence, the need for local entrepreneurs to acquaint themselves to such available mediums.
Furthermore, they indicated that with the business environment in the country becoming more challenging by the day, it is important for the next generation of successful entrepreneurs to start looking for alternative sources and directions to raise funds for their business.
Deputy Managing Director, Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), Abena Amoah, on her part, reiterated that indeed youth entrepreneurs need patient and long-term funds which the banks do not have the ability to provide but the GSE has the capacity to facilitate this kind of funding through partnerships.
She stated that the best funding solutions for entrepreneurs is about partnership, adding that GSE has the data and funds of thousands of people in the country and other parts of the world who want to invest in visions and business plans of entrepreneurs willing to bring it on board for partnerships. She is therefore urging entrepreneurs to register with the GSE to get their businesses listed for shares to be floated in order to raise funds through partnerships.
“The GSE holds public funds of people in Ghana and around the world who are committed to invest in Ghana. The entrepreneur sells their vision to them and the entrepreneur is ready to account back to these people that this is how I used the funds you gave me.
This includes putting in place ethical financial structures, good corporate governance system with a strong independent board. With these in place, the entrepreneur can assess the funds, put it into the investment that would grow the business,” she said.
Managing Director, GCB Bank, Kofi Adomakoh, indicated that business transformation is mostly tied to adequate and sustainable financing, hence, business owners must understand the dynamics of the financing environment in order to leverage the opportunities that the different sources present.
The MD further emphasized that banks are now building ecosystems that are friendly to both the financial institution and the client, using technology and systems that were influenced by fintech. However, there is a need to strengthen partnerships and in doing so, entrepreneurs or business must endeavour to explain their business model to the complete understanding of the bank.
CEO Mikaddo Holdings, Dr. Michael Agyekum Addo, on his part emphasized that entrepreneurs must seek for knowledge on principles, skillset, develop a businesses plan, get in place right human resources and mindset before seeking for flexible payback or long-term capital for the business.
In two different panel discussions on the themes ‘Financing your transformation’ and ‘Building a transformational mindset-innovation and pitfalls,’ experts provided entrepreneurs with information and nuggets of wisdom to transition their small startups and firms into international players, walking alongside member companies through the journey of transformation, and paving the way for others to follow.