Entrepreneurs trained on easy path of alternative financing

Accra- A workshop in Accra for industry players has exposed them to the number of alternative financing schemes available for their businesses.

Entrepreneurs and business operators were encouraged to open their businesses to the public so as to enable individuals with funds to own a fraction of their business by listing on the alternative market.

The workshop held on Tuesday was organised by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through U.S Government’s Feed the Future Financing Ghanaian Agriculture project (USAID FinGAP) and the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE).

It exposed participants to the three security market segments, which are the main equity, the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), the Ghana Alternative Market (GAX) and the Ghana Fixed Income Market (GFIM).

It was organised on the theme: Leveraging on the Capital Market to Drive Business Growth for Enhanced Economic Development and was attended by more than 100 members of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI), the Association of Ghana Industries, the Federation of Association of Ghanaian Exporters, the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ), and representatives of Kosmos Energy’s Innovation Centre.

Mr Rayborn Bulley, the President of IFEJ, urged entrepreneurs to team up mind-sets and resources if they were to remain viable from generation to generation when he said much sole proprietorship did outlive their owners.

He urged entrepreneurs who had the notion that the business is all about themselves to rethink their decision and open up for individuals to share their risks and increase their chances of transcending generations.

Nana Dr Appiagyei Dankawoso I, the President of GNCCI, said globally, access to cheap credit had supported the growth and empowerment of businesses adding that, in advanced economies, access to cheap credit has facilitated the attainment of economic, technological, industrial, and infrastructural developments.

He said Small-Medium-Enterprise (SMEs) and start-ups in advanced economies were encouraged by low interest rates to increase their level of investments over a certain period of time.

He said SMEs in Ghana were constrained in accessing cheap credit and that there was the need to continue exploring alternative form of financing to protect and improve their competitiveness.

He said the Chamber would continue engaging government and its agencies at various environment levels as well as non-state actors to ensure continuous improvement of the business environment in Ghana.

Dr Victor Antwi, the Acting Chief of Party, USAID FinGAP said the training was to facilitate sustainable investment by ensuring that businesses especially agribusinesses in the downstream of various value chain and supply chains as well as capital market key players understood each other’s needs.

He said the country’s entrepreneurs and businessmen were capable of producing goods and providing services for Ghana and beyond but they needed proper investment support to achieve that.

He said the USAID FinGAP had facilitated more than $158 million in finance to more than 2,800 agribusiness SMEs, benefitting 162,600 smallholder farmers within the value chain, who produce and supply primary products for processing by Ghanaian business.

Dr Antwi said security markets in Ghana represent an important alternative form of financing for the capitalisation of businesses thus alternatives to bank financing for local SMEs.

He said the GSE, which was launched in 1990 with an initial listing of 11 securities now had 45 listings and operated in three market segments: the main equity board (GSE), the alternative market segments (the GAX) dedicated to SMEs, and a fixed income market (GFIM).

Mr Ato Barnes, the Managing Consultant of SEM Financials Company Limited, said it was better to own a 10 per cent of a big business than 100 per cent of a smaller one, urging businesses to open up their operations to the public to invest.

Mr David Tetteh, a Consultant, with GSE said many business owners were not willing to list their entities on the GAX due to fear of losing business venture but told them that listing on the capital market required given up a minimum of 25 per cent.

At the end of the training, some of the business owners registered their interest to be considered for listing on the capital market.

Source: Ghana News Agency