The Chief Executive Officer of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), Hajia Abibata Shanni Mahama Zakariah has assured young entrepreneurs of her outfit’s commitment to providing micro-credit and small loans to start-ups and small businesses in the country.
Madam Mahama Zakariah reiterated this commitment in her interactions with young entrepreneurs during this year’s edition of the Ekosiisen National dialogue series held at the Accra Digital Centre on Friday.
Hajia Abibata Shanni Mahama in her opening remarks said MASLOC was committed to supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups to grow their businesses in the country despite limited resources due to the high demand for financial assistance.
She pointed out key areas of focus for MASLOC including support for Youth in entrepreneurship, women empowerment, Agro-based industry assistance and support for the physically challenged.
The CEO of MASLOC stated that “many young entrepreneurs still find it difficult to get quick, simple and flexible financing to start or expand their businesses, however, with good business practices and viable business plans, the marginalized who cannot seek financial assistance from the mainstream financial institutions due to high commercial rates and more complex documentation, should reach out to the institution as it has been resourced to specifically assist the productive poor”.
She added that “small enterprises and startups can also benefit immensely from the capacity building and skill development packages which are conducted before loan disbursal by the institution, this will help provide them with the competencies to be properly positioned to use the funds advanced to them profitably”.
Madam Mahama Zakariah told the young business owners that MASLOC offers cash loans from GH₵5,000 to GH₵200,000 per her approval limit and even GH₵200,000 to GH₵500,000 at the Board level to help them grow their companies.
She disclosed that some of the various loans had a maximum tenure of 18 months with a one-month moratorium and an annual interest rate of 12%.
Madam Mahama Zakariah added that MASLOC exists to empower Ghanaians between the ages of 18 and 65 by providing support for their existing enterprises and start-ups without discrimination or any biases, stressing that she was committed to erasing the misconceptions that the institution is only favourable to people who are politically exposed.
She urged young business owners, particularly those in the agri-business industry working on animal house boundary, poultry, fish and crop farming projects with gestation periods of up to 18 months, to reach out to the company and solicit support for their initiatives through its cash loans, capacity building and training programs as well as the hire purchase scheme which enables the provision of items such as tricycles to enable them to transport their produce at fairly cheaper rates.
She also mentioned that the interest rate of six per cent per annum for agro-based loans was unbeatable, urging the youth to take advantage of the offer.
She mentioned that MASLOC had a Hire Purchase Scheme that provides items such as saloon cars, minibuses, tricycles, sewing machines and hair dryers at very affordable prices and payment schedules for entrepreneurs.
Dignitaries present at the event included the Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. John Kumah; the CEO of the National Youth Authority, Pius Enam Hadzide; the CEO of the NEIP, Mr. Kofi Ofosu Nkansah; the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Michael Okyere Baafi; the CEO of the Accra Digital Centers Limited, Kwadwo Baah Agyemang; and the chairman for the occasion Mr. Daniel Mckorley, the Executive Chairman, McDan Group of Companies.
The Ekosiisen Dialogue series is an initiative aimed at creating awareness of important national issues. This year’s dialogue series focused on entrepreneurship and its strategic importance to Ghana’s industrialization agenda.