How to improve SMEs’ access to debt, equity financing

SMEStanbic IBTC Bank has stressed the need for business owners to engage the services of professionals in their business formation for proper business structures, accessibility of capital and sustainable growth.

The Head, SME Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Obinna Ukachukwu explained that if the proper structures, such as proper book keeping, annual reports, tax returns, auditor’s report, and record of banking transactions, which form the history of the business, have been put in place at the initial stage of establishing a business outfit, it would be easy for such business manager to access debt or equity capital seamlessly.

Ukachukwu, stated this at the 2016 Global Possibilities Summit of Inspired Woman of Worth (iWOW) network which held in Lagos, recently, said: “When you have generated capital, you have determined your business’ worth, you then need someone to attest to that in form of documentations, whether it is your banker, your auditor or your tax man. Having all these put in place will makes it easier for you to attract debt or equity financing.”

The financial expert who spoke on ‘How to Find, Create, Manage, Grow and Keep Real Money for your Business’, identified capital as a the single most important factor necessary for the sustainable growth of small and medium scale enterprises.

He added that without capital, it would be difficult for any business to attract finance or investment. Ukachukwu defined capital as the value of and the history behind a business, noting that if a promoter of a business does not know the value of the business, it is very unlikely that any investor or financier to be comfortable committing their money because the equity or debt investor is bringing in money in exchange for value.

He pledged Stanbic IBTC’ s commitment to continue to support the growth of micro, small and medium scale enterprises through targeted product and service offerings.

According to him, the Stanbic IBTC SME seminars and the Virtual Business Centre (BizDirect) are two of the bank’s interventions to help build capacity for SMEs and share needed information. “If you don’t know the value of your business then you do not expect a debt investor to put in his money,” Ukachukwu said.

He, however, assured that Stanbic IBTC Bank continues to work with operators in the SME sector, particularly through capacity building and information sharing, to ensure they build capital and increase value for their business.



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