Barclays Bank Ghana (Barclays) has committed to providing SMEs enrolled with Invest in Africa (IIA) credit support to expand their businesses. This forms part of a partnership established between the Bank and IIA through which Barclays will also provide other forms of enterprise development assistance.
IIA is a not for profit organisation with the vision to create Prospering African Economies. The organisation has in the past four years facilitated over $1million credit support to SMEs through its ‘Access-to-Finance’ benefit offering. Mr. Clarence Nartey, IIA Ghana’s Country Director, expressed delight at the partnership with Barclays and how it will result in more funds being made available to support the growth of SMEs. “The benefits to our SMEs are enormous. These include; access to world class business advisory services, short-term loans, supply chain financing and project financing at competitive rates. This should enable them grow their businesses and create more jobs in the economy”, Mr. Nartey said.
According to him, the partnership is very strategic because Barclays’ Enterprise Supply Development (ESD) programme has similar objectives as IIA’s three (3) prong benefit offerings. To date IIA’s ‘Access-to-Markets’ pillar, delivered through its online marketplace platform the African Partner Pool (APP), has provided Ghanaian SMEs with business opportunities valued at $150m. IIA’s ‘Access-to-Skills’ pillar, delivered through a suite of training programmes, has empowered over 230 SMEs by improving their entrepreneurial, managerial and technical competencies.
Barclays Bank Ghana’s Business Banking Director, Mrs. Grace Anim-Yeboah, says through the programme, Barclays aims to help SMEs that supply goods and services to corporate organisations get access to funding to enable them fulfill their orders and increase their competitiveness. “Our partnership with IIA is not only borne out of the recognition that, the growth of SMEs is critical to the growth of Ghana’s economy but also out of our renewed commitement to Ghana as we rebrand to Absa – an African bank with a global scale”, Mrs. Anim-Yeboah explains.