Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DCI Microfinance, Mr Selassie Woanya has urged young entrepreneurs not to concentrate on money but to focus on customers to enable their businesses to flourish.
He said customers could assist business owners in enhancing the growth of their businesses and offer them opportunities.
Mr Woanya, speaking at the Young Entrepreneurs Breakfast Meeting in Ho on the theme: “Promoting Sustainable Trade and Investments-the Youth in Focus,” said businesses must be credit-worthy before seeking support from lenders.
He said a credit-worthy business had a track record, which included the character of the business and the owner, the treatment of their employees and suppliers and payments of utility bills, which were some important factors a creditor may consider to support businesses.
Mr Woanya said it also required that businesses must understand the value-chain, customers, their product, raw material sources, pricing mechanisms to be able to go to a lender.
He noted that when business owners built good relationships and social capital, they would be able to get credit easily.
Mr Woanya said business owners must be able to ensure basic records keeping by utilising mobile applications, which would enable them to record every single business activity such as purchases and sales.
He urged the participants to separate themselves from their businesses and, if possible, put themselves on payrolls, since they and their businesses were different entities.
Mr Woanya urged entrepreneurs to build their businesses to last longer, adding that any business built to last would easily raise funding, either by equity or debt.
He asked them to spend their time reading and learning, so they could get ideas as CEOs to manage their businesses.
Madam Vera Delasie Kumah, a representative from the GCB Bank, said because most small businesses were unregistered, it was difficult to transact business with them.
She said businesses must be registered with the Registrar General’s Department, fulfil tax obligations and must be in existence for some number of years before they receive financial assistance.
Dr Eli Agbloyor, Head of Research, TESA Capital, noted that business was a language, and it was important for the participants to learn the business languages such as revenue, expenses, assets and liabilities.
He urged them to leverage on friends and the networks they built so they could get some services without cost.
Dr Agbloyor urged them to reinvest their profits which could serve as a source of funding instead of purchasing expensive things which could not enhance the growth and expansion of the business.
He urged them to take advantage of the Ghana Commodity Exchange Warehouse Receipt System and the Ghana Alternative Exchange to serve as support for them in raising funds.
Dr Agbloyor said young entrepreneurs could also explore crowdfunding platforms and chances to transform their entrepreneurial landscape.