NEWS

Accra–Ghana, 28 January, 2019: Invest in Africa (IIA) has honoured nine (9) SMEs at the 2nd edition of its SME Excellence Awards held in Accra.

The SME Excellence Awards is a platform that showcases and celebrates the achievements of successful businesses and individuals of entrepreneurial excellence who have experienced IIA’s three benefit platforms; ‘access to skills’, ‘access to markets’, and ‘access to finance’.

The Nine (9) SMEs were recognised for performing excellently in various aspects of their respective businesses. They are; WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD - Georgette Barnes Limited, YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD - Agriaccess Ghana Limited, BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION AWARD - Ricks Logistics Limited, BUSINESS LINKAGE AWARD - Right Consult and General Supplies Limited, BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY GROWTH AWARD - Consolidated Shipping Agencies Limited, BUSINESS INNOVATION OF THE YEAR AWARD - Liranz Limited, MENTORSHIP RECOGNITION AWARD - Ricks Logistics Limited, SCALE-UP BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD - Right Consult and General Supplies Limited.

The ultimate award, IIA STAR AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE went to AIDEC Holdings Limited, a downstream fuel retailing and petroleum haulage company.

The Accounts and Finance Manager of AIDEC Holdings Limited Mr. Hector Awaana who received the award, expressed his gratitude to IIA and its partners, on behalf of the award winners, for the support being offered to SMEs in the Country. “The training in entrepreneurship we received from IIA has enhanced our operations and we are grateful”, he added.

The event was organized under the theme “Supporting SMEs – Key to Accelerating Inclusive Growth and Prosperity.

The Country Director of IIA, Mr. Clarence Nartey underscored the need for SMEs to be supported to grow. He said SMEs employ between 60-90% of Africa’s population thus supporting them will enable SMEs contribute more to prospering African Economies. “IIA has in the past four years provided $150million worth of contracts to Ghanaian SMEs registered on the African Partner Pool (APP), $1.2 million worth of credit support to SMEs, trained 230 SME’s and supported 32,000 jobs” He noted.

He disclosed that going forward, IIA has prioritised 6 strategic sectors for support as part of its long -term broad-based growth strategy. These are; Financial Services, Agriculture, Construction, Extractives (Oil & Gas & Mining) and ICT. “IIA is investing millions of dollars to build the long -term capacity of local suppliers across these sectors in order to drive sustained growth and job creation” Mr. Nartey stated.” He reiterated IIA’s vision 2022 agenda to provide $500million worth of contracts to SMEs and 100,000 jobs for Ghanaians.

He commended the government for recognising the important role of SMEs and taking appropriate steps to create the enabling environment for their growth. “It is great to see that our Government through its 10-point Industrial Transformation Agenda has rightly identified SME development and Industrial subcontracting exchange as two key growth pillars”, he said. Mr. Nartey further commended the Ministry of Trade & Industry for formulating the Draft National MSME Policy, which is a necessary first step towards creating a true entrepreneurial ecosystem in Ghana.

The Special Guest Speaker, Mr. Kweku Awotwi in his speech emphasized the critical role of SMEs in national development. He said in this regard, Tullow Ghana Limited has committed itself to using the services of local suppliers. “Local content has significant input and influence in our procurement processes. We currently have 75% of contracts in our procurement plan earmarked for indigenous companies and joint ventures between indigenous companies and foreign companies who can transfer knowledge, skills, experience and technology to the indigenous partners” he stated.

He further noted that; “since 2010, Tullow Ghana Limited has invested $15billion on rigs, well development among others and $9.5billion out of the amount was awarded to companies that have joint venture partners in the country.

Dr. Sebastian Okeke, Country Programme Manager for the African Development Bank (AfDB) reiterated the commitment of his organization to continue to support SMEs through its Fund for Africa Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) programme. “AfDB has created various instruments to ensure that Africa’s private sector is well equipped to rise above its current challenges” he stated.

The event was attended by other IIA’s partners - EY, AB & David Africa, MODEC Production Services Ghana JV, Ecobank Ghana, GCB, Barclays Ghana, MTN Business, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).

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Invest in Africa (“IIA”) - Kenya, is a private sector, Not-for-Profit partnership of organizations working to develop local enterprises to drive job creation and enterprise development with the purpose of enabling trade between larger organizations and Suppliers (SMEs).

IIA-Kenya achieves this by providing better access to skills, markets and finance to enhance and ensure inclusive growth and sustainable development for businesses and organizations in Africa.

We are currently looking for experienced consultants across to be part of our growing pool of experts and resource persons.

For more information visit: https://script.google.com/macros/s/AKfycbxzfE5LHtq...

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Accra, Ghana, 21 November 2018: MTN Business, Ghana’s leading telecommunications provider of business connectivity solutions, announces its partnership with Invest in Africa (IIA) to provide custom-made ICT solutions to Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in the country. Through this partnership, services offered by MTN Business will be available to help SMEs optimise their productivity to enable them grow and expand their businesses.

IIA is a not-for-profit organisation committed to addressing the challenges of identifying credible local suppliers, developing local content and driving cross-sector growth across the economy.

The Country Director of IIA, Mr. Clarence Nartey said; “with MTN Business, we have a Pan-African mobile telecommunications powerhouse and local market leader whose commitment to providing tailor-made enterprise solutions will give a big boost to the SMEs. We also intend to tap into MTN Business’ suite of ICT solutions to improve our own organisational efficiency and productivity as well as ensure that our flagship online marketplace platform, the African Partner Pool (APP), is technologically enhanced for the benefit of all our buyers and suppliers.”

Since its establishment four years ago, IIA has provided business opportunities valued at $150m to Ghanaian SMEs registered on its online marketplace platform, the African Partner Pool (APP). IIA has facilitated over $1m of credit support to SMEs. Through skills training, IIA has empowered over 230 local SME’s by improving their entrepreneurial, managerial and technical competencies.

Commenting on the partnership, the General Manager of MTN Enterprise Business, Mr. Samuel Addo, reiterated that by partnering IIA, MTN is living up to its overriding mission to be a vehicle for Ghana’s economic growth and development. “MTN’s world-class telecommunications products and services, as well as innovative and sustainable corporate social responsibility initiatives, are all contributing to the realization of Ghana’s strong development potential. This partnership is our way of helping SMEs grow and play their role in the nation’s development” Mr. Addo emphasised.

IIA plans to provide $500m worth of business to Ghanaian SMEs, and in the process contribute to supporting 100,000 jobs by 2022.

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Barclays Bank Ghana (Barclays) has committed to providing SMEs enrolled with Invest In Africa (IIA) credit support to expand their businesses. This forms part of a partnership established between the Bank and IIA through which Barclays will also provide other forms of enterprise development assistance.

 

IIA is a not for profit organisation with the vision to create Prospering African Economies. The organisation has in the past four years facilitated over $1million credit support to SMEs through its ‘Access-to-Finance’ benefit offering. Mr. Clarence Nartey, IIA Ghana’s Country Director, expressed delight at the partnership with Barclays and how it will result in more funds being made available to support the growth of SMEs. “The benefits to our SMEs are enormous. These include; access to world class business advisory services, short-term loans, supply chain financing and project financing at competitive rates. This should enable them grow their businesses and create more jobs in the economy”, Mr. Nartey said.

 

According to him, the partnership is very strategic because Barclays’ Enterprise Supply Development (ESD) programme has similar objectives as IIA’s three (3) prong benefit offerings. To date IIA’s ‘Access-to-Markets’ pillar, delivered through its online marketplace platform the African Partner Pool (APP), has provided Ghanaian SMEs with business opportunities valued at $150m. IIA’s ‘Access-to-Skills’ pillar, delivered through a suite of training programmes, has empowered over 230 SMEs by improving their entrepreneurial, managerial and technical competencies.

Barclays Bank Ghana’s Business Banking Director, Mrs. Grace Anim-Yeboah, says through the programme, Barclays aims to help SMEs that supply goods and services to corporate organisations get access to funding to enable them fulfill their orders and increase their competitiveness. “Our partnership with IIA is not only borne out of the recognition that, the growth of SMEs is critical to the growth of Ghana’s economy but also out of our renewed commitement to Ghana as we rebrand to Absa - an African bank with a global scale”, Mrs. Anim-Yeboah explains.

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Invest in Africa (IIA) is proud to be sharing its plans to support local content in the oil and gas industry in Senegal at the MSGBC Basin Summit & Exhibition at the King Fahd Palace Hotel on the 24th – 26th of October 2018 in Dakar.

IIA will be working with leading industry operators like Woodside Energy, BP, Cairn Energy and Kosmos Energy, alongside tier one service companies like Baker Hughes, a GE company, to help local businesses better understand the sector and potential future opportunities. IIA plans to launch a number of programmes in Senegal to help local small to medium enterpises (SMEs) access and understand the oil and gas industry. To be among the first to learn more about IIA programs, complete the pre-registration form below.

http://dev.appsenegal.com/register

Invest in Africa (IIA) is a non-profit enterprise specializing in helping African SMEs develop their businesses and improve their competitiveness by creating access to skills, markets and finance.

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Invest in Africa (IIA-Kenya) in partnership with the African Management Initiative (AMI) has today launched an online learning academy to help SMEs on the African Partner Pool (APP) gain expertise to scale and grow their businesses.

During the one year program, SMEs will have access to a library of courses, practical tools and social features. They will also be guided through key steps of developing their businesses, understanding market demand, their customers, cost-effective products; developing, testing and refining their business model and how to get funding for the business.

Speaking during the launch, IIA Country Manager, Wangechi Muriuki said, “It’s a great day for SMEs in general as we officially launch the Academy. We believe that the training courses and tools offered by AMI will be integral to SME development in Kenya. This is because from our research, we found out that access to skills and training is as important as access to finance and markets.”

Her sentiments were echoed by those of AMI CEO and founder, Rebecca Harrison, who spoke of the impact that AMI is creating by ensuring that organizations across Africa build motivated, productive and effective businesses. “This partnership will see us provide relevant skills training to SMEs on Invest in Africa’s platform. This will add onto the over 20,000 people across Africa that we have already reached”, she said.

To access the platform, SMEs will have to self-register on the site and use a pre-determined code custom made for the IIA SME community. They can then access the Learning Academy page at https://appkenya.com/@learning-academy and click on ‘Sign Up for Learning Academy’ button.

AMI has developed its courses in partnership with leading business schools and experts, including Strathmore Business School (Kenya), Lagos Business School (Nigeria) and the Gordon Institute of Business Science (South Africa).

The Online Academy has been made easily accessible for entrepreneurs even if they have limited access to the internet. It is focused on simple downloadable tools, a low-bandwidth online platform which is easily accessible on mobile phones, in-person sessions and the opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs.

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Invest In Africa (IIA) Ghana says as part of its vision for the next four years, it is awarding $500 million worth of contracts to medium-sized enterprises and creating 100,000 jobs.This was revealed during the celebration of four years of impact from 2014-2018 dubbed 'Celebrating milestones, Repositioning for the future'.

Looking back at the first four years of operation, Country Manager of Invest in Africa, Clarence Nartey said the organization had awarded contracts worth ¢150 million to local businesses, facilitated 1 million dollars’ worth of credit and trained over 200 SMEs.

“Frankly, these achievements are impressive. We now have a firm foundation and a good business model in place to build on into the future. But we could never have achieved this without the support of our 10 partners and donors, 12 Buyers, 1500 SME’s and the phenomenal IIA team in Ghana”, he said.

The IIA is also poised to becoming a self-sustaining organisation. This means it would not rely on donor-funding as is the case now.

“Achieving these goals will require a re-thinking of some of our operating principles, sharper prioritisation and faster mobilisation of internally generated funds”, Mr Nartey noted.The IIA, Mr Nartey noted will focus on three things, i.e. future recruitments would target Medium-Sized enterprises with an annual turnover of $250k and beyond.

It would also prioritize key sectors of the economy - Finance, Agriculture, Construction and Extractives and ICT (FACE-ICT).

The third area would be to boost communication, highlighting the three benefits of Invest in Africa including access to markets, skills and finance.

The anniversary commemoration saw the launch of a new app, APP 2.0 which easily connects buyers and suppliers on its African Partner Pool (APP).

“This new software provides a real-time connection between SMEs and the buyers, provides data and analytics and opportunity to do procurement directly”, Ghana Manager of APP Ibrahima Aminu explained.

IIA awarded its leading partners for their support in their 4-year journey of impact. The Multimedia Group was awarded the leading online, TV and radio media partner.
IIA Ghana is a non-profitable organization which seeks to provide solutions to Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) such as access to market, funding and skills to expand to a wider market.

Since its inception, it has partnered with leading private companies like Tullow Oil, Ghana Commercial Bank, Multimedia Group and others to help execute its initiative.

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Yasmin and her company received training through IIA’s Business linkage programme (BLP). The BLP is IIA’s $4m training and mentorship programme designed to assist small and medium enterprises to fast track their businesses from locally good to globally competitive. Yasmin’s company (Africa Bagg Recruitment) went on to win the Woman Entrepreneur Award at the Invest in Africa awards 2016.

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Lydia Tioko (Loteiteleit Company Limited, Kenya)

 

Lydia and her SME also accessed finance through Invest in Africa’s Invest in Africa’s Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS).

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Below are other Woman led SMEs we’d like to recognise that we work with to provide new markets, skills and finance to.

Betty Gichuki (Create A Tee Limited)

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Rael Mzee Ochodo (Chairperson, Akiberan Aberu Suppliers Limited- Turkana County)

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Hadija Jama (Founder and Director, Darubini Screening International Co Ltd Nairobi)

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Victoria Joseph (CEO, Design One)

 

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For ‘Women in Business’ day this September, we are highlighting all the hardworking business women within Invest in Africa’s (IIA) network, partners and local economies (Ghana, Kenya and Senegal).

We’d like to recognise Akiberan Aberu Suppliers and Contractors Ltd, a wholly women-owned and run business based in Turkana, Kenya. Akiberan Aberu Suppliers were actually the first SME to secure a loan through IIA’s Africa’s Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS).

Yasmin Boamah (African Bagg Recruitment, Ghana)

Yasmin and her company received training through IIA’s Business linkage programme (BLP). The BLP is IIA’s $4m training and mentorship programme designed to assist small and medium enterprises to fast track their businesses from locally good to globally competitive. Yasmin’s company (Africa Bagg Recruitment) went on to win the Woman Entrepreneur Award at the Invest in Africa awards 2016.

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Lydia Tioko (Loteiteleit Company Limited, Kenya)

 

Lydia and her SME also accessed finance through Invest in Africa’s Invest in Africa’s Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS).

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Below are other Woman led SMEs we’d like to recognise that we work with to provide new markets, skills and finance to.

Betty Gichuki (Create A Tee Limited)

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Rael Mzee Ochodo (Chairperson, Akiberan Aberu Suppliers Limited- Turkana County)

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Hadija Jama (Founder and Director, Darubini Screening International Co Ltd Nairobi)

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Victoria Joseph (CEO, Design One)

 

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To celebrate the upcoming ‘Women in Business’ day, Invest in Africa has profiled some successful women in business in recognition of all they have achieved in their field and highlight their achievements.

Below are short profiles (of senior women figures from BP, Tullow and Invest in Africa) that shed light about their journeys, career paths, and the advice they want to share with other women in business.

Ayana McIntosh Lee VP of Communications & External Affairs, BP Mauritania & Senegal

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

Talented women and men enter the workforce with the same excitement, energy and drive to succeed. Advancing into increasingly more senior positions requires mentors and sponsors with the latter being someone who believes in you enough to advocate for you when leadership opportunities are available. It is the lack of sponsorship, however, that proves to be a major barrier to female leadership.

Which woman has inspired you and why?

Throughout my life, I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by amazing women who inspired me. From my grandmothers who role modelled being strong, smart and bold, to my mother who began and completed law school while married with three children, I’ve seen first-hand that success is achievable through fortitude. The same is true for my professional career where I have and continue to work with incredible women who rise above personal and workplace challenges to make a positive impact on the business, people around them, and leave a lasting impression of what good leadership looks like.

What skills / attributes have served you best and what will future generations of female business leaders most need to succeed as you have?

Capability, adaptability, mobility and humour are the skills that have served me best throughout my career. I’ve always been willing to take the difficult assignments, even when I didn’t yet have all the skills required for the role. This has allowed me to develop faster and to be selected for interesting projects across the world whereby I’ve had to be adaptable to thrive in diverse environments. It hasn’t always been easy but keeping a sense of humour has been essential. I encourage future generations of female business leaders to be serious about their craft, but don’t take themselves too seriously

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Sandy Stash Executive Vice President, Safety, Operations & Engineering & External Affairs at Tullow Oil

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

At some level, society remains skewed against powerful women – and fundamentally, one must demonstrate power to be a leader. I think this issue had an impact on the American 2016 election, actually.

It is changing – but it remains a barrier. Once we can get past this – I think we will have the momentum that is needed to make real progress.

Which woman has inspired you and why?

I am inspired by a number of women CEOs and political leaders – Angela Merkel, being one. I find visible, intelligent women very inspiring. Christine Amanpour and Oprah Winfrey come to mind.

What skills / attributes have served you best and what will future generations of female business leaders most need to succeed as you have?

One skill is not being afraid to put your voice in there. Yes – you may be proven wrong – but it is better to be wrong and have put your ideas in there - than to have not said anything.

A second is not to try to emulate leadership styles. There is no one size fits all – and you are at your best when you are true to yourself. Women bring important attributes to leadership teams – and best bring this forth when they are themselves.

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Wangechi Muriuki - Country Manager at Invest in Africa Kenya

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

The most significant barrier for women is the institutional and cultural mindset on the role of women. There is a gender barrier in our society that has created a set of different expectations for women. This includes the notion that women cannot have a good work/life balance. These barriers hinder a woman’s path to becoming leaders in the work place.

Which woman has inspired you and why?

The late Professor Wangari Maathai, amongst many strong women leaders, has been my main source of inspiration. She inspires me because she fought for women equality her whole life and was a pioneer and a martyr for Kenyan women. She was the first woman to receive her PhD in Kenya, first Kenyan to win a Nobel peace prize and first woman to run for president in Kenya.

What skills / attributes have served you best and what will future generations of female business leaders most need to succeed as you have?

For me there are two skills/attributes that all women in business need. These are to stay focus/ be goal oriented and to always remember who you are. Remember that you are a woman, and do not try to be a man. Be forthright, be bold, but remember to be a woman too. You can still succeed as a woman.

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Angelina Diyouh - Business Linkage Programme Manager at Invest in Africa Ghana

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

The most significant barrier to female leadership is global gendered norms and how women are perceived in society. Every time a woman is to be recognised as a great leader, she has to achieve far more than what her male counterparts will have achieved. This makes a lot of women shy away from taking leadership roles even when they are well qualified.

Which woman has inspired you and why?

Lisa Nichols.

She taught me that one can inspire others by being themselves. Despite her struggles and limitations, Lisa moved from being a struggling single mom on public assistance with only $12 to her name to being recognised as a millionaire entrepreneur, a best-selling author, a humanitarian and a motivational speaker. She has shown great leadership in turning her life around and supporting thousands of people to do same.

Knowing the opportunities available to me today and seeing how she took charge of her own life, it tells me the sky is the limit if I believe, work hard and commit to achieving excellence in all I do.

What skills / attributes have served you best and what will future generations of female business leaders most need to succeed as you have?

  • How to build and maintain good networks at different levels
  • How to build a team, inspire and influence them to achieve results
  • Good communication skills to get people to buy into your vision.

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Tina Boadi - Marketing Manager at Invest in Africa Ghana

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

From my experience the most significant barrier is the limited availability of established females in leadership who openly and genuinely want to make time to coach and mentor the next generation.

 

Which woman has inspired you and why?

My late grandmother is my greatest inspiration. She was never formally educated but was a highly successful and influential wax print and cocoa trader amongst her peers in the Ashanti Region. Without any prior invitation she could easily walk into any high office of the land and be given a warm reception.

What skills / attributes have served you best and what will future generations of female business leaders most need to succeed as you have?

I would say resilience and endurance have served me best. Some of the barriers encountered can be extremely frustrating and painful. Resilience and endurance make it easier to get up, lift up your chin and successfully move past the next hurdle.

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It’s been four years since Invest In Africa (IIA) kicked off its operations in Ghana. IIA is a not-for-profit organisation committed to addressing the challenges of identifying credible local suppliers, developing local content and driving cross sector growth across the economy as a whole.

Together with its leading partners, IIA does three main things:

1. Connects multinationals and larger businesses to credible local suppliers (SMEs);

2. Improves these SMEs access to skills, contracts and finance to build long term capacity; and

3. Helps improve the investment climate and quality of policy discussions in the country.

Access to Skills

The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) in 2013 awarded IIA a US$1 million grant, their first in Ghana, to deliver the Business Linkage Programme (BLP), a training and mentorship programme that offers SMEs the tools needed to improve their entrepreneurial, managerial and technical capacities. IIA’s partners have also committed over US$3 million benefit-in kind support to the programme. Through another subsdised programme called the Business Accelerated Programme (BAP), funded by the Dutch Development Agency (FMO), EY consultants are assigned to high potential SMEs on a one-to-one basis, to help improve their competitiveness. Also, through a collaborative partnership with Canon, 22 Ghanaian companies from the printing industry have been trained in the latest technologies to enhance their capacity and ability to meet international standards.

Through these flagship programmes and others, IIA has delivered over 25,000 hours of capacity building training support to more than 220 SMEs- many of whom have subsequently been linked to larger Corporates for new business opportunities and created at least two jobs

Access to contracts through the African Partner Pool

The African Partner Pool (APP) is an online marketplace launched by IIA in 2014 to bridge the gap between large companies with procurement needs, referred to as buyers, and SMEs. The rationale behind the APP was borne out of the difficulty local SMEs face in making themselves visible to larger companies. The APP, therefore, is a community where buyers and suppliers across can engage each another, discover new opportunities and grow their business. The APP directory allows SMEs to promote the products and services they can deliver and the standards they can deliver to, making it easier for big companies to find the right suppliers.

Since the introduction of the APP, total volume of contracts won by suppliers has hit 111 (valued at US$151 million). Approximately US$116 million of the total value has been retained in-country. Today, the number of suppliers on the APP is over 1500. IIA through the APP has supported c.32,000 jobs in Ghana over the period.

Access to finance

This is arguably one of the biggest challenges facing SMEs in the country and indeed across Africa. Most banks are unwilling to advance loans to SMEs mainly because of their perceived risk (weak structures, poor financial records, etc) which do not make them bankable. IIA’s ‘Access to Skills’ pillar plays a crucial role in helping APP registered SMEs put in place the necessary structures that will make them less risky and bankable for banks to advance loans to them. So far, approximately US$1million of credit has been disbursed to SMEs through IIA’s banking partners.

These three platforms, have helped build the capacities of SMEs, improved their competitiveness and positioned them on an accelerated path to playing on a global stage.

Challenges

Even though IIA has made great strides in the past 4 years, success has not come on a silver platter. Whilst IIA’s focus on SMEs and multi-sector approach ensures it has a broad-based economic impact, it also means high risk exposure/vulnerability to economic shocks.

For example, the ongoing volatility in the financial sector has affected the IIA ecosystem in two key ways. Firstly, one of its local partners, UT Bank folded up. Secondly, the reduction in credit to the private sector has also affected the ability of some of their SMEs to source credit to operate/expand their business.

It also experienced relatively slower tender activity on the APP platform last year due to slower economic activity. As a result, it was not able to facilitate as many business linkages (and contracts) as it would have liked to for their suppliers.

The Country Director, Clarence Nartey added that, “the organisation has to constantly work to get the right balance between our bold ambitions and the resources needed to deliver them. Most of the time, especially in the case of a not-for-profit, the latter lags behind the former. But thanks to support from our partners, donors and promising self-financing initiatives we are currently pursuing the gap is narrowing.”

Going Forward

Mr. Nartey added that, “going forward, we want to build on the solid foundation laid over the past four years.

The first job to be done is a brand re-positioning one: to communicate our unique integrated brand proposition to our core target audience. We haven’t done this holistically and consistently in the past.

Secondly, we will get sharper on prioritisation by trading our wide breadth of scope for depth in our sectors of focus. Going forward we are prioritizing six key sectors of the economy which will form the basis of our local content efforts. These sectors are oil and gas, mining, financial services, ICT, agribusiness and construction. These are high growth sectors that are closely aligned with the Government’s sector priorities. They also have a strong developmental impact, especially from a job creation point of view. We have re-structured our organization to better align the team with this sector-focus. This approach will ensure we build relevant domain expertise, which will be key in our business partnering to key IIA partners in these core sectors.

We will also be driving a stronger inclusive growth agenda within the IIA ecosystem -as part of our sustainable growth strategy. Any growth plan that does not take into account supplier growth is not sustainable. For this reason one of the key initiatives we will be focusing on is the ‘Homegrown Buyers’ Project. We are identifying between 50 to 100 high potential SMEs who have the ability to grow to become buyers. We will work with these suppliers and build their capacities so that they can in turn sub-contract some of their procurement to ‘smaller’ SMEs on the APP platform.”

Mr. Nartey further stated that the APP platform will soon be re-launched (October 4th, 2018) with improved value-added features: providing more real-time business opportunities and making it easier for more buyer -to supplier and supplier-to-supplier interactions.

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