Access Bank says it is investing $1 billion to power 10 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa over the next five years.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the theme of the SME roundtable is: Improving the capabilities of SMEs in Africa.
Kumapayi said that Africa had about 1.4 billion people, which was about 17 percent of the world’s population.
The chief executive said that Africa was not producing enough, adding that the SME space on the continent was underdeveloped.
According to Kamapayi, SMEs in Africa face three main problems that are intertwined: access to services, affordability, and the ability to run businesses on their own.
“And that’s what we’re trying to fix over the next five years.
“We would have an impact on around 10 million SMEs in Africa.
“There are 90 million SMEs in Africa,” Kamapayi said.
He said that the bank is ready to support young women and entrepreneurs in Africa.
According to him, the bank has put together a series of Fiction Institutions for Development (IFD) that will help develop the capabilities of SMEs.
Also speaking, Ms. Ayodele Olojede, Group Director, Africa Emerging Businesses, Access Bank Group, said that the bank loves SMEs and would do everything in its power to support them.
Olojede said the bank had branches in 14 African countries, adding that its support for SMEs would transform the continent.
According to her, Africa’s contribution to GDP is very low and she attributed the reason to the fact that SMEs are struggling.
She said the game changer for SMBs was building their ability to scale beyond fice access.
“Not only do we give SMEs access to fice, but we help them in other areas that will help them open their businesses to market opportunities and then get into the services that they will be able to access.
“We found that many SMBs spend 70% of their time on activities that don’t add to their bottom line.
“That in itself tells you that they will not be able to climb as long as they continue to focus on those activities.
“So one of the ways that we can help them is to create a platform where they can easily access all of those services, and so we can cut 70 percent of their time down to 30 percent.
“And for us to be able to help them spend 70 percent on those activities that can help them scale, that to me is the game changer,” Olojede said.
=============Edited. eniola williams
Source Credit: NAN