Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been touted globally as the most critical sector of any economy.
Ghana is no exception and local financial institutions continue to explore ways to support the growth and transformation of the sector.
In Ghana, data gathered from the Registrar General Department indicates that about 90% of registered companies are SMEs.
The Ghanaian private sector consists of about 300,000 SMEs who employ more than 80% of the workforce, contribute about 50% to GDP and therefore have a catalytic impact on economic growth.
One financial institution that has always remained true to its status as a champion of SMEs in Ghana is UT Bank. As a leader in supporting SMEs in Ghana, it has influenced other banks to set up SME desks.
Mr. Prince Kofi Amoabeng, co-founder and former CEO of the bank, retired at the end of December 2015, after leading the bank for 18 yrs.
Mr. Amoabeng is also the President of UT Group. This planned and forward thinking transition ensures that the bank has a strong and seasoned management team in place.
Since the turn of the New Year, Mr. Stephen Antwi-Asimeng, the new CEO and his team are ready to roll out some of the most innovative and creative products and services geared towards enhancing the growth potential of SMEs; the original focus of the bank.
The Bank is keen on improving its exposure to SMEs. To strengthen the performance of SMEs, the bank is going a step further to enhance their capacity.
UT Bank is about to roll out business development assistance programmes to complement the financing of these SMEs.
Many SME owners and their staff will be consistently trained in business development, corporate management and financial management to challenge them to be forward thinking.
In addition to providing financial services, UT Bank is offering a holistic package to transform SMEs in the country.
As part of its transformation, UT Bank is upgrading its IT infrastructure, modernising banking halls and introducing efficiency in its operations including electronic banking platforms. The bank will be investing about $1 million to improve its banking technology infrastructure.
Founded 18 years ago with a staff of 4, UT Bank now has a staff strength of about 900 and 28 branches nationwide.
The bank will maintain its position as the go to bank for SMEs- the real economic drivers of growth in Ghana.