Economics and Business

United Bank for Africa (UBA) Role in SME Financing: Empowering Businesses for Growth

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are the lifeblood of any economy, driving innovation, creating jobs, and contributing significantly to economic growth.

It is pertinent to mention that one of the most significant challenges facing SMEs is access to financing. This may be attributed to their modus operandi viz record keeping, associated risk amongst others. This is where financial institutions like banks play a crucial role in providing the financial resources needed for SMEs to thrive and expand.

The Backbone of SME Financing

Banks serve as the backbone of SME financing by offering a range of financial products and services tailored to meet the unique needs of small and medium-sized businesses. The products span from credit facilities to financial advisory services and capacity-building initiatives. It cannot be overemphasized that banks play a pivotal role in helping SMEs access the capital they need to grow and succeed.

UBA’s Commitment to Supporting SMEs in Ghana
As the reigning SME Bank of the year honoured by the Ghana Credit Excellence Awards, 2023, UBA Ghana has proved to be a key player in supporting SMEs.
Over the years, through its innovative financial products, strategic partnerships, and commitment to excellence, UBA is empowering SMEs to realize their full potential and contribute to Ghana’s economic development.
Tailored Financial Solutions
UBA understands that one size does not fit all when it comes to SME financing. That is why the bank offers a range of tailored financial solutions designed to meet the diverse needs of Ghanaian SMEs. Whether it is working capital financing, asset acquisition, or business expansion, UBA provides flexible and competitive loan products to support SME growth.

Access to Capital

Access to capital is critical for SMEs looking to expand their operations or enter new ventures. UBA provides SMEs in Ghana with access to the capital they need through a variety of lending options, including term loans, overdraft facilities, and trade finance solutions. By leveraging its extensive network and financial expertise, UBA helps SMEs secure the funding they need to fuel their growth ambitions.

The partnerships with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) involving a substantial US$6billion investment in African SMEs; and collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to assist Youth and Women-led Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Ghana. These initiatives aim to help SMEs expand their businesses, boost employment opportunities, increase revenue and contribute to environmental sustainability.

Trade solutions

UBA appreciates the role and support of export and repatriation of export proceeds. Therefore, in addition to providing the funding to enable these SMEs expand and enter new markets, UBA has also developed solutions to enable these SMEs trade across borders. This has been achieved through UBA AfriTrade, where SMEs can receive payment for their supplies in Ghana Cedi through their UBA Account. They are also able to send remittances through the UBA AfriCash platform with a robust digital banking solutions to aid their smooth operations.

Financial Advisory Services

The bank offers comprehensive financial advisory services to help SMEs make informed business decisions and navigate the complexities of the financial landscape. From budgeting and cash flow management to investment planning and risk mitigation, UBA’s team of financial experts provide invaluable guidance and support to SMEs at every stage of their journey.

Capacity Building Initiatives
UBA is committed to empowering SMEs through capacity-building initiatives aimed at enhancing their financial literacy and business management skills. Through the annual SME capacity building programmes, clinics and the virtual UBA Business Series, the bank equips SMEs with the knowledge and tools they need to succeed in today’s competitive business environment. The initiative reaffirms the bank’s purpose to equip SMEs in the country with financial advisory services and requisite knowledge to expand their business.
Strategic partnerships & Driving Economic Growth
By supporting SMEs, UBA Ghana is not only driving economic growth but also creating opportunities for job creation, innovation, and wealth generation in Ghana and beyond. The bank’s strategic collaborations, such as the partnership with the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) to promote trade liberalization under the AfCFTA, demonstrate its commitment to empowering SMEs and driving economic development.

In conclusion, the significance of banks in SME financing cannot be overstated. As trusted financial partners, banks like UBA Ghana play a vital role in empowering SMEs to achieve their business goals, stimulate economic growth, and build a prosperous future for Ghana. It is worth mentioning that through the unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation, UBA is helping SMEs in Ghana thrive and succeed in today’s dynamic business environment.

By Peter Dery,
Head of Retail & Commercial Banking
UBA Ghana

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