MTN unveils 2024 SME Month to empower small businesses

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By Deborah Asantewaah SARFO

MTN Ghana has launched its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) month initiative to empower small businesses with the requisite support, resources and platform to enhance their operations in the sector.

The 2024 SME Month, slated for July, also seeks to acknowledge and appreciate the significant contributions of the SME sector to the country’s economy and job creation.

Speaking at the launch, the Head of SME at MTN Ghana, Mohammed Abubakari-Sadick, elaborated on the motive for SME month, adding that businesses within the sector would be empowered with “digital information, access to finance”, among others.

“You may be wondering why MTN is focusing on SMEs. Small and medium enterprises are the backbone of the country……As an African brand, we want to see these businesses thrive, not just survive. And to do this, we must empower our SMEs with digital transformation, access to financing, collaboration and partnerships, skills development and market expansion.”

Some activities outlined for the month-long event in celebrating SMEs include fairs in Accra and Kumasi, an innovation conference in Accra, capacity training as well as women in business work shows.

For her part, the Chief Enterprise Officer, Angela Mensah Poku, stated that throughout the SME month, businesses will have the opportunity to digitise their business, collaborate with partners of MTN and the SME ecosystem to advance initiatives like capability-building, e-bookkeeping and digital marketing.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Seth Twum-Akwaboah, asked MTN to take strict precautions against cyber-attacks even as they work to attract more small and medium-sized enterprises to embrace digital payment platforms.

He maintained that SMEs’ encounter with fraudulent activities in cyberspace remains a key hindrance to their patronage of digital solutions or innovations.

“One of the calls that we like to put forth for MTN to consider is that with all of these solutions that we’re trying to use to support SMEs, let’s ensure we take cyber-security very seriously and ensure that we minimise these incidents of our neighbour companies going through fraudulent activities, he noted.

According to Mr. Twum-Akwaboah, while a significant majority of the SMEs are well-versed in the use of ICT-based enablers, the cost of data and the quality of services from telecommunications becomes a barrier to SMEs in accessing the Internet.

In response to the steps taken by MTN to address the issue of the cost of data and internet instability, he indicated the company is not relenting on the issue but rather “investing billions of dollars to ensure that we can fix our network issues and optimise the network across the country”.

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