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Stanbic and IFE to support SMES in the face of coronavirus

Stanbic Bank Ghana steps in to protect small businesses

Grants worth 40m Cedi are being made available

With the crisis taking its toll on small businesses, Stanbic Bank Ghana partnered with Investing for Employment (IFE), an offshoot of German development bank KfW, to protect small businesses and thousands of employees. 

Under the partnership, grants worth 40m Cedi ($7m) are being made available to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in need of assistance. 

Stanbic Bank Ghana has also committed to provide additional credit relief to these SMEs in the form of extended loan tenors. Together, these initiatives are aimed at helping SMEs to retain their employees as they weather the COVID-19 storm. 

At least 40 SMEs, across a range of sectors, are expected to benefit from the programme. When including the employees of suppliers and other partners to the beneficiary SMEs, it is envisaged that this project will preserve more than 12,000 jobs. 

“The SME sector contributes over 70% of the country’s GDP,” says Stanbic Bank Ghana Chief Executive Alhassan Andani. “What this means is that the SME sector is the backbone of the Ghanaian economy.” 

“What this also tells us is that whatever threatens the stability and sustenance of the SME sector threatens the stability of the entire Ghanaian economy. We believe that when our SME sector is supported in a way that moves them from surviving this pandemic to thriving businesses, the sector will be uniquely positioned to not only be the backbone of the Ghanaian economy, but to also take this economy to the next level,” Mr Andani says. 

The programme complements the bank’s other COVID-19 mitigation initiatives, including loan repayment holidays for customers and donations towards relief efforts. “This partnership with IFE is the ideal supplement to our own efforts so far,” Mr Andani says. 

The pandemic has required fast and meaningful interventions to preserve jobs, production capacity and supply chain linkages. 

IFE’s COVID-19 response programme forms part of the Special Initiative on Training and Employment, under which the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) offers a package of measures to support high-impact investments in Africa.