Liberia Business Association (LIBA) President, Dee-Maxwell S. Kemayah said the task of empowering Liberian businesses is a herculean task, but noted that all Liberian owned businesses are committed to this vision of taking charge of the Liberian economy.
Mr. Kemayah said in line with his administration, strategic vision; LIBA has initiated actions based on the gaps identified as factors impeding the growth of Liberian owned businesses and lobbied with several institutions and organizations; both locally and internationally to help solve the problems.
“I am pleased to state here that one person, who the Liberian people; especially the grass root or the masses refer to as a social entrepreneur, caught the vision and took action. That one person is Dr. J. Mills Jones, the current Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia, who continues to sympathize, empathize and identify with the plight of the Liberian people as far as empowerment is concerned,” Mr. Kemayah said when he spoke at the Young E’nnovative Leaders of Liberia (YELL) held recently at the Double Hotel-Arden in Sacramento, California.
Mr. Kemayah through the visionary and astute leadership of Dr. J. Mills Jones; the Central Bank of Liberia continues to carry out several social Entrepreneur related interventions.
“For instance; Dr. Jones out of his concern for the gap in access to credit or finance by the small medium enterprises championed the approval by the CBL Board of Governors of an initial $5 million USD loan “stimulus package” to be accessed exclusively by Liberian owned businesses,” the LIBA Boss said.
He said the interesting feature about this package is that it has an unprecedented low interest rate of 8% and long repayment period of five (5) years.
He told the Young E’nnovative Leaders of Liberia that this was followed by US$5 million loan “stimulus package” for the Liberian Business Association (LIBA) which is currently being exclusively accessed by its members.
Mr. Kemayah said the interesting feature about the CBL Loan package to LIBA is that it has an unprecedented low interest rate of 7 percent and long repayment period of five (5) years.
“The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) under the dynamic leadership of Dr. J. Mills Jones has also intervened in the Liberian economy in many other ways; including, but not limited to the $10 million USD loan “stimulus package for housing or real estate mortgage and $7.5 million USD loan “stimulus package for agriculture lending for not more than 8 percent interest rate and very long repayment period of not less than 10 years.
Mr. Kemayah told the young people that through the vision of Dr. J. Mills Jones, the Microfinance Unit of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) was established and this unit has since continued to empower the Liberian people through its Financial Inclusion and affordable loan schemes to Credit Unions, Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs), Liberia Marketing Association (LMA), petty traders and other marginalized groups.
“Today, as I speak, more than two hundred and fifty Liberian owned businesses and thousands of Liberians across Liberia have directly and indirectly benefitted from these facilities; and have grown their businesses to a level where some have employed more people; and are meeting the livelihood needs of their respective families,” he added.
He intimated that their capacities have been built to the extent where some Liberian owned businesses are also supplying goods and services to multinational companies.
Mr. Kemayah said the empowerment scheme of the Central Bank of Liberia(CBL) under the leadership of Dr. Jones is transforming the lives of thousands of Liberians especially the marginalized/grass roots.
He stressed that this initiative is a benefit of social entrepreneurship which the Liberian Businesses Association deems appropriate in a developing country such as Liberia.
The LIBA President said “Social Entrepreneurs are mission driven; generating social value and not wealth is the central criterion of a successful social entrepreneur. Promoting systemic social change is the real objective.”
“Like business entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs see and act upon what others missed. Access to credit and markets have been some of the major setbacks of Liberian SMEs for many years. It took a social entrepreneur like Dr. J. Mills Jones to seize the opportunity to empower the Liberian people or society,” Mr. Kemayah said as Timothy T. Seaklon reports.