Mr. Robert Hertz Jackson, a Microfinance Expert from PH-Anova Solutions has called on Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to put in place good financial mechanisms to help make their businesses credible enough to attract Bank Loans.
He, however, cautioned that they should apply the Loans acquired diligently by investing in the businesses to bring about the growth of the business and to be able to repay on time.
Mr. Jackson was speaking at the First Annual Financial Literacy and education conference organized by the Federation of Financial Educators and Organizations (FFEO) in Accra.
The Conference is on the theme: “Reshaping the Future of Finance through Digitization.”
The Annual Financial Literacy and Education Conference is an annual public awareness campaign on financial literacy concepts that help people make financial decisions.
The conference served as a platform for the stakeholders to learn and empower them with resources and training so they could effectively support others in their communities to work toward greater financial security.
It also sought to build alliances, collaborate, share information, and challenge perspectives relating to their engagement in the area of Financial Education and how they could take advantage of the opportunities in digitization in the financial industry.
“The Loans are meant for investment and not for personal spending and that you should make the appropriate calculations before the Loan,” he added.
Mr. Joshua Mensah, the President of African Entrepreneurship School said this would contribute to the vision of the National Strategy on Financial Education for citizens to have the knowledge, understanding, skills, and confidence to make prudent financial decisions for themselves, their families, and their communities.
He said financial literacy and empowerment for businesses especially the SME sector was essential for the development of the business environment.
He said literacy education would enable these small businesses to know what expenditure to make during their business transactions to prevent unnecessary spending that could affect the growth.
Mr.Mensah said financial planning was one of the big problems some businesses face and that SMEs with this knowledge would propel their growth.
On Retirement planning, Children’s future planning, Insurance planning, he said “People should be well educated about all these things to aid them in their future financial decisions,”
The President launched the “Sika Tse Game” which would help train individuals to attain their financial independence as it would guide the players on their expenditures and how to invest among others.
Mrs.Rosina Akrofi, Education and Sensitization Expert at the Corporate Affairs Unit of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority, said pension contribution was necessary to prepare individuals in readiness for retirement.
She explained that the first-tier pension and the second-tier pension contributions were for the formal sector workers, while the third-tier contribution was for the informal sector.
Mrs. Akrofi said the third tier comprises Voluntary Provident Fund and Personal or Group Pension Scheme for contributors, who were self-employed in the informal sector.
She said the Scheme applied to individuals in the informal sector, who were not covered by any pension scheme under the mandatory part of the three-tier pension scheme.
she also urged the informal sector players especially SMEs to start contributing their pension as aspects of would be used for investment.
“Persons in the informal sector who were not covered by the mandatory schemes shall have 35 percent of their declared income, exempt from tax for contribution purposes; while investment income from investment of Scheme Funds shall be tax-exempt,” she said.
She said pension contribution amount in the informal sector was not constant like the formal sector and that a contributor could decide on any amount they could afford.
Mrs. Akrofi said a worker could join the pension contribution scheme if they were more than 15 years of age.