To be creditworthy, manage your finance prudently – CalBank boss to SMEs

SME Credit Worthy

Managing Director of CalBank PLC, Philip Owiredu, has advised small and medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) to manage their sources of financing appropriately to be credit worthy at all times for business growth.

According to him, this would ensure businesses stay afloat and also help them invest more in other areas to become resilient.

Mr. Owiredu said these and more when he was delivering an address at the CalBank SME education session in Kumasi in partnership with Development Bank of Ghana (DBG), on the theme ‘Building Financial Resilience’.

Participants who were mostly customers of the bank were educated on topics such as: Preparing your business for bank financing and efficiently managing business debts as a precursor to debt repayment; Separating personal finances from business funds in small business financial management; Navigating the current economic challenges – perspectives of a senior banker; Tapping into Development Bank of Ghana’s (DBG) sustainable business development and financing opportunities, and Using digital banking solutions to drive business growth.

Mr. Owiredu emphasised that the growth of businesses of their customers is of their paramount interest therefore holding such educative sessions is important. “If we don’t manage our debts very well, it will choke us. We consider engagement with our customers as very paramount and we endeavour to strengthen this bond on annual basis,” he said.

He further explained that the topics were carefully selected to build the capacity of their SME customers to boost their activities.

“Currently, technology underpins everything that we do and, in our businesses, technology can significantly support the growth of our business. These subjects have been selected to make sure that under the dynamic nature of the market and challenges faced by businesses, you will be able to navigate around your businesses and grow them. Each one of us will be equipped with the necessary tools to expand their business and endeavour to effectively manage the environmental risk in which we find ourselves so that at the end of the day we would all go far,” Mr. Owiredu added.

Representative from Development Bank of Ghana (DBG), Maame Ahemba Wilson, explained to participants their role in ensuring the growth of SMEs in the country.

“DBGs mandate is to develop SMEs in the country. It serves as a crucial institution in our nations development. Wecurrently work with seven banks, and one of the ways we do it differently is working with our partners. We do not go directly to our end borrowers, we believe that the banks already have the relationship with their clients, so we go through them. Partnerships are therefore critical to the way we deliver our mandate, ” she said.

Furthermore, Ms. Maame Ahemba Wilson, highlighting the relationship between DBG and CalBank, indicated that they focus on sectors that require long-term funding such as manufacturing, agriculture among others.

“The corporation between CalBank and DBG seeks to promote and optimize achievement of our respective mandate not just lending but also building capacity for you and borrowers. We want to improve the appetite of banks to finance the business sectors that you operate in. We have sectors that we focus on as a bank, that we believe require long-term funding which hitherto are not experiencing so from the banks.

These are the sectors that DBG focuses on manufacturing, and agriculture, we have currently the Agric value chain which we concentrate on that is rice, soya, maize, and sorghum. There is also ICT and what we call high-value service which comprises of tourism or hospitality, transportation and healthcare,” she emphasised.

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