Local Financial Institutions To support MSMEs

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To commit to its principles of fostering innovative approaches and harnessing innovative financial solutions with strategic partners, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is investing to fully unleash the true potential of Liberia’s informal sector and to harness people’s entrepreneurial energy in a variety of ways. Through its Growth Accelerator programme for business development, UNDP’s Livelihood and Employment Creation project is helping revenue-generating small and medium-sized enterprises and commercially inclined agricultural cooperatives to scale up their operations and contribute substantially to national economic development through increased revenues and job creation. It is through this initiative that on May 21st, UNDP Liberia in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) together with local financial institutions, under the Growth Accelerator programme hosted the Alumni and Investment Partner’s Cross-Learning Exchange event to provide a unique platform for Growth Accelerator Alumni from the last three cohorts to gain knowledge, connect with key stakeholders, and explore opportunities with local financial institutions. Speaking at this event, the Deputy Minister of Small Business at the Ministry of Commerce, Benedict A. Dolo, reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment to continue working with MSMEs and encouraged them to take advantage of more projects. Dolo acknowledged the crucial role played by MSMEs in the country’s economic development and job creation. He further, urged the financial institutions to develop programs that empower MSMEs. At the same event, the UNDP Resident Representative, Louis Kuukpen, commended the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for the partnership and its leadership in creating an enabling environment to work together to support the MSMEs.  Kuukpen thanked the financial institutions for revitalizing their relationship with small businesses to grant them loans and access to financing instruments with conditions that they can uphold. The UNDP Livelihood and Employment Creation Programme Coordinator, Abraham Tumbey,  encouraged businesses to engage with Growth Accelerator programs diligently, noting that they will benefit from mentorship, network and resources offered under the programme. The event was a successful cross-learning opportunity between the MSMEs and local financial institutions – International Bank Liberia Ltd, UBA Liberia, Ecobank Liberia & Bloom Bank Africa Liberia. The network session helped to build valuable connections that brought knowledge about the services that the financial institutions offer to support the MSMEs. This also included the commitment from the financial institutions to provide funding for small businesses with viable plans and growth potential. From this educative session, the MSMEs’ primary takeaway was the financial management, investment strategies and how to grow their businesses. On May 28th, the programme is launching applications for the 4th cohort of the Growth Accelerator Programme at the Ministry of Commerce & Industry. Over the past three years, the programme has been instrumental in propelling local MSMEs and Agricultural Cooperatives towards their business goals.

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