Access Bank, in collaboration with the Design Thinking and Innovation Hub (D-Hub) of the University of Cape Coast, has trained some 200 student entrepreneurs and fledgling SMEs to equip them with the requisite knowledge to grow successful businesses.
The one-day workshop trained participants on entrepreneurial financing, cyber hygiene, and agency banking to expose them to emerging trends and opportunities.
Held on the theme: “Fundamentals of Entrepreneurial Finance: What Every Entrepreneur Should Know,” the participants also received education on the Ghana Integrated Financial Ecosystem (GIFE) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing.
The training which received support from the Development Bank Ghana (DBG), was in line with UCC’s vision to become an entrepreneurial university and Access Bank’s agenda of promoting entrepreneurship in Ghana.
Dr Keren Naa Abeka Arthur, the Director of D-Hub, said the exercise would enable the young entrepreneurs make the optimum use of limited resources available to them for the development of their respective ventures.
“You can have access to resources and not use them well and come back to square one. But if you can manage the little financial resources that you have, you will go far,” she said.
She indicated the partnership with the bank was aimed at bridging the gap between academia and industry to give students the opportunity to experience work life.
Dr Abeka Arthur said the school was working to develop the entrepreneurial mindsets of both students and staff to solve societal problems and therefore, the partnership was a strategic decision to help them achieve their goal.
Mr Jones Darmoe, the Head of Business Unit, Access Bank, observed that SMEs were the bedrock of the economies of many developing countries, contributing more than 70 per cent to employment in Ghana and over 60 per cent to GDP.
Unfortunately, he said such businesses were faced with financial, technological and market challenges which made it difficult for them to thrive.
He, however, indicated that Access bank was working to correct the situation through capacity building workshops and clinics on boosting digital skills for business growth, and funding support.
He assured that the bank was available to offer financial support and business guidance for people with viable business ideas to enable them to bring them into reality.
“People have ideas but to move to the next level is the challenge and so once they know they have the support of Access Bank and related partners, I know that they are going to do better,” he noted.
Mr Darmoe encouraged students not to allow their status to limit their opportunities of developing their business ideas, observing that a lot of global brands were established by their founders while they were still in school.
Madam Rosemond O. Addo-Sampong of Access Bank, who took the participants through cyber hygiene, said cybersecurity was no longer a luxury but a necessity in everybody’s daily life.
She said it was critical for entrepreneurs, business owners and their stakeholders to practice cyber hygiene to protect themselves and their establishments against malware attacks, data loss, identity theft, ransomware, reputational damage, among other dangers.
She warned the public against bad cyber habits such as weak passwords and password sharing, ignoring software update notifications, sharing of bank application credentials, and excessive sharing of personal information online.
“Avoid using one password for all apps and websites and avoid sharing sensitive information on social media,” she advised.
Some participants also shared their experience with the Ghana News Agency (GNA).
Mada Philomena Akua Serwaa Vicar, CEO of Destimena cosmetics, said she joined the training to broaden her knowledge on how to manage her finances as a starter.
“I have learnt how to put down records of all transactions that I make and work on my financial statements which I believe will make the business a success,” she excitedly added.