Mr Jones Darmoe, the Sekondi Takoradi Zonal Head for Business Banking of Access Bank, has called on Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs)to be more digitalised to remain relevant.
He said digitalisation remained one of the ways for SMEs survival, success and growth, adding the bank valued the immense contribution of SMEs to Ghana’s economy.
“Access Bank believes in succeeding together with its customers. Being a ‘go-to Bank’ for SMEs, it remains committed to its promise of providing more than banking to its valued customers,” Mr Darmoe said.
Mr Darmoe made the call at a workshop in Takoradi, organised jointly by the bank, with Open Labs, a fellowship that supports young scholars to pursue careers in the sciences.
It was the bank’s fifth SME capacity-building engagement in Takoradi, aimed at empowering SMEs with knowledge on digitalization for business expansion and growth.
Speaking at the workshop, Mr Darmoe, said research had shown that about 20 per cent of SMEs collapsed after their first year of operation while 50 per cent folded up after five years due to lack of funding support and technical knowledge.
He gave the assurance that the bank would continue to find innovative and sustainable ways to cushion all SMEs to grow.
The Bank had earlier engaged SMEs through clinics and capacity building workshops in Accra and Kumasi.
Through the engagements, more than 6,000 SMEs were supported with business advisory services and exposed to available loan facilities to help their businesses to make good profits.
According to Mr Darmoe, the Bank had dedicated branches and a portal on its website as ready resource centres where customers could walk in or log on for business support.
He said the bank had developed products and services such as the Instant Business Loan and the Business Protection Insurance and empowering them to achieve more through financial inclusion.
Ms Penielle Amankwah, Campus Head for Open Labs, stressed the need for participants to adopt digital technology for their business growth, noting that many SMEs had missed out on the numerous advantages of technology due to inadequate education.
“Many people have smartphones yet use them for only basic activities. The smartphones can be used to enhance your knowledge on new trends in growing your businesses and expose you to more business ideas among other benefits,” she said.
Participants were later introduced to Access Bank’s digital banking offerings such as the AccessAfrica, Access Pay, Merchant Pay, POS and Access Cards, to enhance their business experiences.
They were also educated on targeted internet surfing to leverage digitalization for the growth of their businesses.