A financial institution with a difference is the term used to describe the entry of Axcel Finance, the newest financial institution in Grenada.
An official launch was held on Monday in the presence of Prime Minister of Grenada and Minister of Finance, Dr. Keith Mitchell to welcome the institution, which serves five Caribbean countries.
Located on the second floor of the Demerara Life Building in the city, Axcel Finance has said that it is dedicated to providing high-quality and innovative micro financial solutions to serve the needs of both individual consumers and micro-enterprises.
In addressing the opening ceremony, Country Manager of Axcel Finance Grenada, Patricia Bissessar said the institution offers Consumer Loans with a maximum of $10,000, to finance medical, travel, school tuition and supplies among others.
She singled out for mention the MicroBiz Loans with a maximum of $25,000, which provides credit to Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSME) to assist entrepreneurs.
“Our facilities are heavily used by MSME enterprises in areas such as retail, agro-processing, fishing, construction, small service suppliers. We do not seek any collateral from the borrower, other than a salary deduction letter,” she said.
Chief Executive Officer of Axcel Finance, Samuel Rosenberg who also addressed the gathering noted that the company’s activities in the region have created thousands of employment opportunities for customers.
“Prior to entering the market, an entrepreneur, Sandra, a singe mother who has been devoted to her small business selling children clothes, was unable to access a small loan to grow her business and meet the demand of her clientele,” he said as he alluded to one of Axcel’s success stories.
“… With just a small loan, Sandra is now running a successful business and employs another person,” he added.
According to Rosenberg the consumer loans applications are disbursed in 24 hours and Small business loans in seven days.
“We know the turn-around time is important; waiting for three months to get a response from your financial institution means three months of lost opportunity,” he said.
In his keynote address, Prime Minister Mitchell recalled that for centuries, Grenada has been engaged in successful micro, small and medium-sized businesses.
However, he said the persons involved in this segment of the financial market has “always been affected by two major factors: lack of capital to grow, and lack of managerial capacity.”
“It is for this reason that this Government has taken the strategic decision to support the establishment of micro-lending institutions here in Grenada. We believe that they occupy an essential and critical space in the financial market, which is not adequately being serviced by the traditional finance institutions,” he told the gathering.
“My administration also views this as the assembling of yet another essential piece of the architecture for the New Economy, as it relates to financing for Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. We view the arrival of AXCEL Finance as momentous, particularly since Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises are one of the key pillars of the new economy and is an essential part of Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy,” he said.
According to PM Mitchell, the launch of Axcel Finance in Grenada is seen as “very significant” by his one-year old government, which campaigned on a platform of job creation to secure all 15 seats in the February 2013 poll.
“It is anticipated that several small contractors would be able to secure bridging finance, credit to purchase raw materials and supplies, as well as tools and equipment,” he said.
“It is my understanding from Mr. Rosenberg’s message that AXCEL Finance will offer loans for the people of Grenada to meet a range of personal needs such as education, healthcare and household items”, he added.
PM Mitchell stressed that he has every reason to expect the presence of AXCEL Finance in Grenada to help further stimulate economic growth and by extension create more jobs.