Conversations about the impact of Covid-19 on the economy do not seem to go away even as small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) have not been left out of the devastating effects of the pandemic.

According to Chief Executive of the Africa Business Innovation Forum, Precious Gyau, SMEs do not have the needed support to make them competitive players on the market, thus the need for stakeholders to train entrepreneurs on best practices relevant to their businesses.

To this end, the Africa Business Innovation Forum has been designed to train small and medium scale enterprises to make the most out of their businesses through technology and digitisation.

Mr. Gyau believes SME’S need empowerment to excel in their businesses, thus the establishment of the initiative.

This he believes will help them expand by using data available to get access to credit facilities.

“For me after this forum, there will be a new spirit and a new kind of engagement in how we do business in Ghana.  Small businesses in Ghana are struggling, and one of the things we spoke about is digitising SME banking. An SME should be able to present his mobile money transaction data to be able to access credit. Somebody who sells food by the roadside should be able to present her mobile money transactions to a bank like First National Bank or any other bank for credit; and it should be feasible”, he explained.

Head of Business and Commercial Banking at First National Bank, Mark Acheampong, believes that proper documentation and digitisation of transactions can help SMEs get resources that could help them grow their businesses.

“We are de-emphasizing cheques because we believe that’s the new way of payment. If you look at our merchant services propositions, we’ve rolled out programmes that allow SMEs especially the small ones to grow and have easy access to cash”, he said.

“Cash is gradually dying out and we need to look at digital platforms that enable that. We’ve looked at QR codes, we’ve looked at MoMo integration and normal card payments, and those are the things we’ve looked at”, he added.

The Africa Business Innovation Forum brought together various small medium scale enterprises to share ideas and learn new ways of making their businesses stand out in the market post-Covid-19.

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