By Staff Writer

Monrovia, Liberia: Several Liberian Business have underscored the need for a robust system change at the Liberia Business Registry One Stop Shop for adequate registration process and documents attainment.

The Business women spoke recently at a dialogue organized by the Federation of Business Women and Entrepreneurs (FEBWE) held at the US Embassy, near Monrovia.

Highlighting the hurdles they face, the women named among other things obtaining business registration and proper education on bank loans for business maintenance and expansion as some of the major challenges.

They complained that the non-transparent expeditor (s) system currently at the LBR one stop center is a major factor hindering the display of professionalism and transparency for proper documentation, a claim the LBR has not responded to.

“No system in place there, you get people who are flooding the place with unprofessional and inconsistent behaviors, the extra cost from the expeditor is also a serious challenge for us , sometimes you give your documents to someone at the business registry to process, once that person is not there u can not get your documents, u will have to pay extra cost to another person to get the paper work done” the women explained.

They explained that the delay in attaining the Business Certificate has often caused the loss of contracts.
“Can u imagine a sister was privileged to participate in a bidding process but due to the delay in her business certificate she was unable to get the contract”.

The Liberian business women also indicated that lack of finance is a major challenge as well as processes employ by Banks to access loans are unbearable. They claimed that high interest on loans and taxes are contributing to loss of business.

“I am a victim of loan from ACCESS BANK. I thought my loan officer was doing me a favor, not knowing he was putting me into a mess at the same time benefiting from me, the more he was extending the time, the more he was benefiting from me. I ended up paying even more than what I received from the bank. The loan plans are so huge like you don’t have enough time to read through and know what you are actually going in to, they put you in so much rush in a way that their only concern is for you to sign the loan documents and than they are ready to start killing you”, Krubo Nwaino Kpor, a Fashion Designer noted.

Nwaino Kpor vowed to siezed taking loans from banks due on her experience with Access Bank. “I took the loan to expand my business, because lots of people started loving my work, I needed more capital to enlarge my business but it was a whole different story that got me out of business for six months plus”, She added.

“The high interest rates on loan is making our business women to run away. In fact we have a song that we usually sing when we see loan officers around, as soon we start singing that song everyone will know they are around” Ma Elizabeth Sambulah, head of the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA).

Ma Elizabeth Sambulah also added that banks payment timing is limited
“The banks are killing us, even if you want to take a bigger loan to expand your businesses the payment timing is not right. “The bank don’t explain properly to us, the disadvantages, we just go signing huge papers at the end of the day, we fall in trouble with the banks, high interest rate and short time to pay back the money couple with dishonest loan officers are things that need to work out to help us progress in our businesses”.

The Business Women lauded the dialogue’s convenors for organizing a day’s conversation on issues affecting them in the business community. “That is why today we have came to make our voices heard to the government and policymakers who make decisions on our behalf.

Federation of Business Women and Entrepreneurs (FEBWE) is a
non-governmental, non political and non-profit organization focused on advocating and developing as well empowering and promoting women business entrepreneurs and women
trade associations in Liberia.

FEBWE Liberia is part of ECOWAS FEBWE established in July 2009 in Accra, Ghana at ECOWAS Constituent General Assembly as a non-profit, apolitical, and circular regional head organization for Business Women and Entrepreneurs. The Executive Secretariat is located in Abuja, Nigeria.

ECOWAS/FEBWE objective is to create a platform for dialogue and action with a view to promote entrepreneurship among women in West Africa, thus making it possible for them to contribute to the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) particularly regional integration of West Africa through the formulation of support and advocacy policy that will upgrade the skills and capacity of business women and entrepreneurs thereby promoting a favorable business environment for women within ECOWAS.

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