Support For African SMEs As Global Business Consultancy Challenges Group Launches Enterprise Resilience Programme Amid COVID-19 Crisis
Amid the economic chaos brought on by Covid-19 and generational challenges that thousands of businesses now face, global business consultancy firm The Challenges Group is announcing a new service to support the survival of businesses, the safeguarding of jobs, and the availability of important products and services to rural and urban customers in Africa.
Since the global crisis caused by the outbreak of coronavirus, Challenges’ business consultants have been developing the Enterprise Resilience Programme, a suite of tried and tested tools and enterprise support, including market analysis and business diagnostics, designed to bring clarity to managers on the impact of Covid-19 upon their specific businesses. Thanks to the insights derived from the programme, managers can react more effectively to the rapidly changing business landscape, knowing that they are making intelligent and informed decisions.
Challenges, which was founded in 1999, has over the past two decades built a reputation for one-on-one practical support to individual SMEs and business leaders. It recognised the need to go further than online webinars to support managers make the right decisions for their business in the face of this acute global crisis. Aside an office in Scotland, it has offices in Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia.
Eoghan Mackie, Chief Executive Officer, said: “This programme will help prevent the collapse of many businesses across our markets in Southern, Eastern and Western Africa.”
Challenges also said it has underwritten this belief by offering a repayment package of 24 months with little to no interest to essential businesses.
Mr Mackie added: “We understand the last thing businesses need right now is additional financial pressure, and we absolutely do not want to add to that. Our Enterprise Resilience Programme makes it possible for the senior management team to act quickly, and to respond to immediate and complex business needs. Challenges’ business associates will work hand-in-hand with the enterprises to ensure they stay healthy enough to navigate the crisis, and then repay easily from margins once markets are more stable."
Following the current economic turmoil, Mr Mackie indicated the participating businesses to come through this pipeline will be more ready for investment.
He added: “Those businesses that can demonstrate resilience will have proven their business, their model and their vision. And they’ll be able to demonstrate that these qualities are backed by excellent decision making, risk mitigation and financial management. These qualities are exactly those that attract investors. Just like the current crisis, we’re looking beyond it too.”
Challenges is already working with key partners in its markets, and engaging funders with a view to scaling up the ERP by underwriting or supporting the cost of companies going through the programme.
In the exact words of the CEO, “This is a time when we all urgently need to be working together in order to save businesses and safeguard jobs and people’s livelihoods. We welcome discussion with partners who want to take a pro-active approach to protect businesses”
The Challenges Group is a family of enterprise consultancies with a focus on developing and emerging economies. It has been operating globally since 1999. In that time it has provided more than 100,000 onsite consulting days, delivered in excess of £30 million in debt and equity financing, and supported more than 3,000 growth businesses in 66 countries.
In the past four years alone it has worked with more than 600 companies in Sub-Saharan Africa, where it has offices in Ghana, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia.