Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Volta Region have received training on how to effectively manage their loans to boost their businesses.
The training organised by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) was to support private businesses in the region to recover from the effects of COVID-19.
The initiative, which is being carried out across the country, formed part of the technical support aspect of the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAP BuSS), implemented to assist beneficiaries of the initiative and to equip them with additional skills and knowledge to grow their businesses.
The participants were taken through training programmes such as entrepreneurship skills development, business management, bookkeeping and financial literacy training and formalisation of businesses. The training was facilitated by representatives of NBSSI and consultants with experience in financial literacy and business formalisation.
A facilitator of the workshop, Mr Joseph Aflakpui, advised the beneficiaries not to solely depend on the loans they received but rather to exhibit marketing skills and have a strategy to grow and develop their businesses.
He said that the scheme would not only focus on providing financial support but would also ensure that the beneficiaries utilised the funds in order to sustain their businesses which would motivate repayment.
Mr Aflakpui said the CAP BuSS instituted by the government was to provide support to the MSMEs which were negatively affected by the pandemic; thus, the beneficiaries needed to be taken through basic management processes and guidelines.
The Secretary of the Norvisi Soap Makers Association and CEO of Padan Development Centre, Mrs Eyram Vigbedor, who received GH¢4,000 from the CAP BuSS, expressed gratitude to the government for the intervention.
She said three other women in the association had also received loans to support their businesses.
"The loan will be invested reasonably and it will be utilised well because I will purchase more raw materials such as batik for my fashion and design business and expand my soap making business as well so I can increase production. The government must continue this initiative," she said.
She, therefore, appealed to the NBSSI to release the funds for other beneficiaries in her association on time to meet the high demands of production, in order not to lose markets.
A businessman, Mr Divine Doe, said though most applicants had received their loans, he was yet to receive his after he applied in May 2020. He said he had requested for GH¢3,000 to support his charcoal business and was, therefore, hopeful to receive his.
According to the spokesperson of the NBSSI in the Volta Region, Mr Liman Narambah, the board was determined to support Ghanaian businesses survive, especially in these difficult times.
"Our approach is to support as many businesses as possible," he said.
The NBSSI, he added, had also instituted a new Resilience and Recovery programme with support from the Mastercard Foundation dubbed 'Nkosuo' to offer additional funding to businesses that were struggling, to enable them to survive.
Explaining why funds had delayed, the Regional Director of the NBSSI, Mr Seth Klutse, said it was due to some banking challenges which had to be sorted out. He, however, assured the participants who were yet to receive their loans to exercise patience as the next phase of the loans would soon be disbursed.