Monday, July 28, 2014

Financial Institutions and SMEs

Many SMEs are noted for taking short cuts and often get seemingly reluctant help from institutions which are supposed to cater to them. Many SMEs do not have proper systems in place resulting in poorly kept financial records, poorly documented operations, zero succession planning, market definition is non-existent in that their client is someone who spent money with them rather than them being clear about who they are serving.

Despite these aforementioned characteristics, I still work with them to give them a fighting chance for success. This exposure has given me some measure of a perspective of their frustrations as SMEs trying to do the right thing in the realm of business.

Have you noticed the following as well:

  1. When SMEs have to seek aid made available to them, they have to wade through tons of bureaucratic documentation to access the said aid, and after the frustrating process find that there is often one or two areas which exempt them from ever realizing the aid. 
  2. So they need funding, instead of doing their own plans, they hire the services of a professional/series of professionals to help them obtain the financial assistance; often using funds they can ill afford. These institutions then tell them that they will issue them less funds that they have sought, though they have the supporting collateral, and they can always reapply later for any additional amounts which will require additional fees on the part of the SME. Makes one wonder why it was necessary to get the assistance of the professionals in the first place. 
  3. Lots of entities are set up to provide technical assistance for SMEs but few are set up to offer the money needed and determined by the technical assistance paid for to help them realize their goals and objectives. 
I'm sure that I can go on with a longer list but will stop here on this occasion. The question is:
  • Are we really willing and able to do all that we can to assist SMEs or is it really just rhetoric? 
Your views and feedback are welcomed. 

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