Sixty-six registered Liberian-own small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) from across the country have completed skills training in basic entrepreneurship in Monrovia.
The training exercise took place at the Liberian Business Registry office on Snapper Hill. It was hosted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) with funding from the Liberian Investing for Business Expansion (IBEX).
Madam Watchen H. Bruce, IBEX-Chief of Party, spoke to journalists at the workshop and said the program is aimed at training entrepreneurs how to access finance from various banking institutions as well as keep proper records of their businesses.
This training, Madam Bruce said, would help business people understand how to make a profit and also make them understand what the bank requires from them to access a loan.
IBEX-Chief of Party told Journalists that IBEX is USAID Liberia’s program and is being implemented by the International Executive Service to Corp (IESC) that supports SMEs in accessing commercial bank financing in the country.
She further explained that the program performs due diligence on perspective enterprises before making any recommendations to the banks on behalf of the project.
Madam Bruce added that as part of USAID’s effort to improve Liberian businesses and to have access to private sector finance, the training is paramount to them.
“We want to make sure that Liberian businesses get loans from banking institutions,” she said.
The program focuses on promising entrepreneurs who have track records of successful operations while providing them with technical assistance and capacity building.
The program also provides technical assistance and capacity building for bank staff to adapt processes and acquiring the requisite skills that would enable them to review and evaluate borrowers’ loan applications and understanding of banking with farmers and SMEs.
She said that the key component of their (IBEX) program is the development of sustainability and exit strategies through a national business development and advisory center staffed with service providers to continue SME funding and business development support services after the workshop.
For her part, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Exotic Travel Tours and Documentation, Mrs. Karty Wonasue-Wilson, lauded IBEX and the Ministry of Commerce for organizing a workshop for entrepreneurs in the country.
“I appreciate this opportunity because it is free of charge and provides with knowledge for the future. We give our thanks to the organizers,” she said.
Mrs. Wonasue-Wilson said that the workshop would expose them to the business community and how they sustain the economy of Liberia.
According to the CEO of Exotic Travel Tours, they learned about customer service relationships and record keeping of businesses as well as accessing finance from financial institutions.