On (Wednesday 1st June 2016), the British High Commission launched Capital SME, an initiative aimed at growing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and boosting capital market activity in Ghana. The primary objective of the project is to encourage more small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) to list on the Ghana Alternative Market (GAX). Capital SME is centred around a website which acts as a central hub for the project. The purpose of the website is to provide an information sharing platform to ensure SMEs can be fully informed about the options they have for accessing finance, and to build a networking community of businesses, financial professionals, and public sector actors in a cross-sector effort for stimulating capital market growth in Ghana. Further stages of the project include increased engagement with government ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) and financial institutions to support capital market development; and hosting informative conferences and related networking events. Capital SME’s current target is to support a minimum of five SMEs to list on the GAX within one year of implementation.
The refreshingly ambitious project was launched at Alisa Hotel and the guest list brought together small business owners from a range of sectors as well as representatives from the financial and professional community and government officials. The event was opened by remarks from H.E. Mr. Jon Benjamin, British High Commissioner to the Republic of Ghana; Mrs. Magdalene Apenteng, Director of the Financial Sector Division at the Ministry of Finance; and Dr. Adu Anane Antwi, Director General of the Securities & Exchange Commission. Tanya Williams, Head of Prosperity at the British High Commission, presented the project and inaugurated the website. Attendees then participated in an engaging discussion on “SMEs, capital markets, and accessing finance” exchanging opinions with panellists: Mr. Ekow Afedzie, GSE Deputy Managing Director and Mr. Armah Akotey, Head of Brokerage at Databank, along with two GAX listed SMEs, Mrs. Leticia Osafo-Addo, Founder and Managing Director of Samba Foods and Mrs. Angela Leibel, Deputy Managing Director at Bayport Financial Services. The discussion was moderated by Bernard Avle of CitiFM.
Capital SME was developed in partnership with InvestCorps, Databank Financial Services, and Barclays, with the endorsement of a number of partnering stakeholders from both the public and private sector notably including GSE, SEC, MoF, and Techno Serve who run the ENGINE programme for SMEs.
The launch was a success and the initiative holds great promise. Click here for more information.