The Banking industry has collectively decided to accelerate their portfolio allocation to qualifying Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to help uplift their contribution to economic growth and fast track the country’s pace to aggressive economic recovery post COVID-19.
To achieve this objective, banks will over the next three years increase their lending to qualifying SMEs by between GHS2.5 billion and GHS5 billion thereby increasing industry SME portfolio from approximately GHS7.4 billion to approximately GHS12.3 billion.
This was disclosed by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta in Accra on Wednesday, 17 November 2021 when he presented the 2022 budget statement before parliament.
Over the same period, he said banks will review internal processes and procedures to facilitate and accommodate the planned growth in the SME portfolio.
In addition, the banking industry will collectively engage in skills development programmes for at least 150,000 young graduates and youth entrepreneurs over the next three years by engaging in activities to:
· identify skill gaps in young graduates and youthpreneurs
· develop and embed these skills
· expose the youth to entrepreneurship opportunities by matching them to SME customers for the furtherance of their abilities to create and sustain jobs in Ghana.
According to Mr Ofori-Atta, the banking industry will, therefore, spend a total of GHS75 million over the next three years on skills development programmes for young graduates and youthpreneurs.