Forum On Business Growth Organized By African Partner Pool

The African Partner Pool (APP), Ghana’s first cross-sector online business directory that connects larger international and Ghanaian companies (buyers) to local small and medium businesses, held a successful Business Forum in Accra on Wednesday.

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Invest in Africa (IIA), an organisation focused on delivering economic development creating business, opportunities and supporting job creation, designed the APP portal to simplify the local sourcing process by connecting independently validated Ghanaians SMEs with international and domestic companies and to provide access to skills, market and finance.

In his opening remarks, IIA Ghana Manager, Sam Brandful said the African Partner Pool is at the core of his outfit’s work in Ghana as it assists local suppliers promote their business and increase their ability to tender more competitively.

He said through a skills development initiative called the Business Linkage Programme funded by IIA’s Partners and the African Development Bank, SMEs would be assisted to access training and management support.

Mr Brandful, commenting on the theme of the forum urged SMEs to constantly gauge the health of their business and open themselves up for growth and capacity development by taking out appropriate insurance products for their business and their personal lives and also have their credit reference checks done periodically.

Launched in 2014, the APP currently has approximately 1,300 suppliers registered on it, mostly SMEs from various sectors, and the 15 partners and buyers, which include companies, organization and trade associations such as Tullow Oil, MODEC, Canon, Newmont, AGI and GIPC.

To date tenders to the value of $645 million have been posted on the site.

It also helps larger international and Ghanaian companies to find credible Ghanaian suppliers and meet their local content needs quicker and more cost effectively through its search functionality.

The forum was attended by invest in Africa’s partners and buyers and the members of the African Partner Pool.

Mr Appia Kyei, Director of Exploration at Tullow Ghana Limited, who stood in for Charles Darku, MD of Tullow Ghana said the areas of insurance and credit reference reporting have to be of the concern of all business, especially SMEs.

He urged the SMEs to take advantage of the products offered by companies in these areas.

“For far too long, these areas have been neglected by SMEs but they go to the heart of ensuring business sustainability and indeed, access to investment and finance,” he said.

As part of effort to add value to SMEs on the APP, a panel discussion on the two business topics of insurance and credit reference reporting was conducted to help the SMEs have a better understanding of these two areas and how they can enhance business growth.

Investment in Africa’s vision of’’ Thriving African Economies’’ is one that should be supported by all businesses in Ghana regardless of size.

It should be embraced by Government and public sector entities, by the big multinationals and Ghanaian companies as well as the SME community.

A final call was made to both big corporates and SMEs that are not on the APP to join.

The forum was on the theme: “The importance of insurance and credit reference reporting for your business growth.”

Source: GNA

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