Stakeholders, policymakers and representatives from government agencies in the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have adjudged ‘Tuesday Market’ by the Ghana Export-Import Bank (GEXIM) as the best SME Development Initiative.
Commending GEXIM for using the ‘Tuesday Market’ platform to create awareness for Made-In-Ghana products and harnessing their potential for exports, most stakeholders advocated for the building of capacities of small and medium-sized enterprises to improve their standards to enable them to compete on the global market.
Elaborating on the motive for the initiative, Lawrence Agyinsam, CEO of the Ghana Export-Import Bank indicated that the project is positioned to showcase these businesses, celebrate innovation and also serve as a revenue generation platform.
He assured exhibitors of the banks preparedness to support various aspects of their value chain.
“‘Tuesday Market’ is a novelty from GEXIM Bank to showcase the SMEs we are financing. For Ghana to become an export-led economy, then we think the SMEs hold the future of the country. It is therefore important to let the populace know how creative our SMEs are and the need to know what they are doing and patronize them”, he added.
Rosemary Archer, Co-ordinator for this initiative and Head, International Co-operation and Diasporan business of GEXIM said, “among other things, aside creating awareness for the various products and services, this unique platform is to promote innovative value addition to our staples.
“We thought to offer a platform to champion the adoption of the right packaging, appropriate branding and the requisite marketing needed by the small and medium-sized enterprises to scale up into the next level”.
She also indicated that Ghanaians must accept the made in Ghana products before we talk of export.
“Our products need local recognition in order to receive international acclaim”, she emphasised.
Held once a month, GEXIM organised seven editions of the ‘Tuesday Market’ in 2019 with almost two hundred businesses in participation.
It was an opportunity for the businesses to showcase their well-packaged products for the export market, improve their network as well as receive financial and advisory support.
In an interview with selected exhibitors, they commended GEXIM for the initiative, highlighting the impact and contribution it had made to their businesses.
Ms Love of Lotaya Foods revealed that she had to repackage her ‘dzowoe’ product after participating in ‘Tuesday Market’ for the first time following feedback from clients.
The CEO of Yesli Ice, producers of low-on-sugar ice-cream and organic beverages located in the Western Region, Rita Aku Sika Diaba said, “participating in these exhibitions have given us a great deal of publicity and marketing for our products.
“We have created awareness for our brand and I must say the patronage has been very awesome. Should there be more of these initiates, small and medium businesses will get very far”.
Notable achievements following the introduction of the ‘Tuesday Market’ include the creation of market access for some exhibitors, provision of an avenue for trading among exhibitors, improved packaging of products, product awareness and innovation.
The success of the ‘Tuesday Market’ led to GEXIM’s partnership with the Ghana Tourism Authority to organize the “Year of Return” market in August 2019.
In December 2019, GEXIM also leveraged on the patronage of its ‘Tuesday Market’ to support the consumption of Ghana rice.
A ‘Thursday market’ themed ‘Eat Ghana Rice’ was organised on the eve of the 2019 farmers day to celebrate the Ghanaian Farmer and promote the consumption of Ghana rice.
The bank as part of its strategic focus for 2020 will embark on the development of the local rice industry with key stakeholders.
The “Tuesday Market” will continue in 2020 with the GEXIM continuing with its advisory efforts to encourage more value addition and offer financial support to improve various stages of the value chain and provide capacity building.
The Ghana Export-Import Bank was established by the Ghana Export-Import Bank Act 2016 (Act 911) to support government’s quest for a feasible and sustainable export-led economy.