MSMEs are key to economic growth in the Commonwealth – CWEIC CEO


Rosie Glazebrook, CEO of the CommonWealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC), noted that micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are key to the development of many Commonwealth economies.

This, in his view, underscored CWEIC’s strategy of working with partners in key Commonwealth markets to foster the growth of MSMEs..

Mrs. Glazebrook made the comments when she paid a courtesy visit to one of CWEIC’s main partners in Ghana, UMB (Universal Merchant Bank).

This was part of Madame Glazebrook’s official tour of Ghana this week.

The Bank structured the visit to allow Ms. Glazebrook to have a direct view of Ghanaian MSMEs, hosting the CWEIC delegation at its ‘Centre for Business’ in the market enclave of Medina.

Nana Dwemoh Benneh, CEO of UMB, in her remarks said, “A number of major economic reports claim that MSMEs account for over 70% of all economic activity in Ghana.

“As a bank, we have been focused on Ghanaian MSMEs and their growth since 1972, and so we share this passion for MSMEs with CWEIC.”

“Indeed, we are proud to have been selected by the CWEIC to partner with Coventry University’s program to build the capacity of African SMEs, and we look forward to rolling out the program this year, particularly for MSMEs led by women”.

Ms. Glazebrook in her remarks said, “UMB is Ghana’s oldest merchant bank, and I dare say CommonWealth is one of Ghana’s oldest international relationships. At the heart of our work at CWEIC is the COMMONWEALTH ADVANTAGE – the fact that, overall, it is 21% cheaper to do business in the Commonwealth. So we’re very passionate about bringing that benefit to businesses, and I’m delighted that one of our key partners is doing this in close collaboration with us here in Ghana.

Madam Glazebrook and her group were escorted around the market by Nana Dwemoh Benneh and other Bank officials.

This was followed by a presentation by Mr. Roland Akafia, Strategy Manager on UMB’s MSME program and interaction with CWEIC.

This was followed by a lunch with the Bank’s MSME clients.

UMB is a leading indigenous bank known for bringing a unique Ghanaian perspective to banking, since 1972.

Based in Accra and licensed by the Bank of Ghana, the bank operates from 35 branches across Ghana.

Its strategic aspiration is to become a digital 1st, a bank focused on SMEs. The bank has pioneered several innovations in this market, including SPEEDAPP, one of the most successful agnostic banking applications in the sub-region.

The CWEIC is a not-for-profit trade organization with a formal mandate from Commonwealth Heads of Government to facilitate trade and investment in the 54 Commonwealth member countries.

CWEIC’s role is to use the convening power and trusted network of the Commonwealth, which is led by Her Majesty The Queen, to stimulate trade and investment. CWEIC’s network comprises approximately 100 strategic business and government partners (members) including UMB, Zenith Bank, Trade & Investment Queensland and the Government of the Maldives from 30 countries and territories.

Every two years, the CWEIC hosts the Commonwealth Business Forum in association with the host country of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

About UMB

Universal Merchant Bank (UMB) is a full-service financial institution specializing in personalized banking products and services.

UMB opened on March 15, 1972 and is a leading Ghanaian indigenous bank with considerable financial expertise.

UMB is recognized for its entrepreneurial approach, innovative use of technology and distinctive banking solutions.

UMB currently has thirty-six (36) branches, three (3) UMB Business Centers, 1 UMB PPP Incubator and an extensive network of ATMs. UMB is also ISO 27001 and PCI DSS certified.


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