MASLOC Assures Youth Of Loans For Startups
Hajia Abibata Shanni Mahama Zakariah, the chief executive officer of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), has assured young entrepreneurs of the centre’s firm commitment to providing small loans to startups and small businesses in the country.
She said the MASLOC is committed to supporting SMEs and start-ups to grow their businesses in the country, despite the limited resources available, because of the high demand for financial assistance.
Madam Mahama Zakariah echoed this commitment during interactions with young entrepreneurs at this year’s edition of the Ekosiisen National Dialogue series held at the Accra Digital Centre last Friday, October 14.
She outlines MASLOC’s key areas, such as support for youth in entrepreneurship, women empowerment, agro-based industry assistance and support for the physically challenged.
The MASLOC boss stated that, many young entrepreneurs still find it difficult to get quick, simple and flexible financing to start or expand their businesses.
But, with good business practices and viable business plans, the marginalized who cannot seek financial assistance from the main stream financial institutions owing to high commercial rates and more complex documentation, should reach out to the institution, as it has been resourced to specifically assist the productive poor.
She continued, saying that small enterprises and startups can also benefit immensely from the capacity building and skills development packages, which are conducted before loan disbursal by the institution, this will help provide them with the competences to be properly positioned to use the funds advanced to them profitably.
At the dialogue series, Madam Mahama Zakariah told young company owners that MASLOC offers soft loans ranging from GH₵5,000 to GH₵200,000 per her approval limit and even GH₵200,000 to GH₵500,000 at the Board level to help them grow their companies.
Some of the various loans have a maximum tenure of 18-months with one-month moratorium and an annual interest rate of 12 percent.
She indicated that, the MASLOC exists to empower Ghanaians between the ages of 18 and 65 by providing support for their existing enterprises and startups without discrimination or any biases and that she is committed to erasing the misconceptions that the institution is only favorable to people who are politically exposed.
She urged young business owners, particularly those in the agro-business industry working on animal house boundary, poultry, fish and crop farming projects, with gestation periods of up to 18 months, to reach out to the centre and solicit support for their initiatives through its soft loans, capacity building and training programmes, as well as the hire purchase scheme, which enables the provision of items, such as tricycles, to enable them to transport their produce at fairly cheaper rates.
She also mentioned that the interest rate of 6 percent per annum for agro- based loans is unbeatable, and thus the youth should take advantage of this.
Madam Abibata Shanni Zakariah courted young entrepreneurs to also take advantage of their hire purchase scheme that provides items, such as saloon cars, mini-buses, tricycles, sewing machines and hair dryers, at very affordable cost and payment schedules to commence and boost their business.
Distinguished stakeholders present at the dialogue series include Dr. John Kumah, Deputy Finance Minister; Pius Enam Hadzide, CEO NYA; Kofi Ofosu Nkansah, CEO NEIP; Michael Okyere Baafi, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry; Kwadwo Baah Agyemang, CEO Accra Digital Centers Limited, and the chairman for the occasion, Mr. Daniel Mckorley, Executive Chairman, McDan Group.
The Ekosiisen Dialogue series is an initiative aimed at creating awareness on important national issues. This year’s dialogue series focused on entrepreneurship and its strategic importance to Ghana’s industrialization agenda.