The Mission Director for United States Agency for International development (USAID) to Liberia, John Mark Winfield, has assured the business community that the entity will continue to provide financial and technical assistances to local businesses in the country.
Mr. Winfield made the assertion over the weekend when he signed an Agreement with two banking institutions, including Ecobank Liberia Limited and the International Bank to expand support to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) across the country.
According to him, USAID through its Liberia-IBEX program focuses on enterprise development, and provides key business development and financial management services that entrepreneurs—specifically female entrepreneurs- could use to their benefit.
“Women are contributors to the economic viability of any nation,” Mr. Winfield declared.
He added that, IBEX could help prepare business financial records and loan packages, and then refer any entrepreneur to the banks as well as building the bank staffs’ capacity to deal effectively with SMEs.
Mr. Winfield also pointed out that Liberian entrepreneurs’ reliance should now be on their profits for expansion and sustainability of their businesses.
IBEX-Liberia has, in recent time, provided lots of services to Liberian businesses; including technical support and capacity building for SMEs, banks, and small entrepreneurs accessing finance.
The USAID Mission Director also used the occasion to re-assure the people of Liberia of the U.S.’s continued support to building the capacity of entrepreneurs.
For his part, Ecobank Managing Director, Kola Adeleke, promised to work with international partners to ensure that the Liberian economic is well developed.
According to him, no country can prosper without the help of donors, adding, “We need to provide loans to local businesses in the country.”
The Ecobank executive reiterated his bank’s commitment to provide loans to SME’s.
Henry Saamoi, International Bank’s Managing Director said the only way Liberia can grow is when Liberians themselves are involved in the economic development of the country.
Mr. Saamoi told the delegates that International Bank would ensure that the country’s economic system improves.