SME Banking

Ayani offers the advantage of specialized experience related to SME finance, meso finance, up scaling and downscaling, and building SME-level technical, financial and enterprise management capacity.

This complement of skills makes Ayani ideally equipped not only to provide an excellent market analysis and lessons learned according to international best practice, but also for the firm to provide well informed and highly relevant product recommendations, based on first-hand experience with SME finance from numerous perspectives.

Ayani's recent work promoting SME Banking within financial service providers includes:

  • An ex post evaluation of an MFI up-scaling program

  • Development and facilitation of SME banking training modules

  • Fund administration of an SME entrepreneurship fund

  • Review and upgrade of SME underwriting policies and risk assessments

  • SME credit process re-engineering

  • SME credit line management, including for rural SMEs and SMEs in the renewable energy sector

  • Monitoring and development impact measurement of SME portfolios

  • Financial service provider change management to better serve SME sectors

  • SME market studies

  • Strategic planning to address the needs of SME clients

In addition to working with financial service providers, Ayani works on the demand-side building up the capacity of SMEs to strengthen their management and financial skills. For example, Ayani's track record includes:

  • E-learning module development for SMEs

  • Financial education training

  • SME value chain and training needs assessment

  • Capacity building for leasing companies and SME customers

  • Business development services provider mapping

  • Strengthening agro enterprises in selected value chains


Change management, SME credit process re-engineering and training in Ghana

On this IFC-funded technical assistance to UT Bank, a leading SME finance provider in Ghana, Ayani provided a resident technical advisor through a 150-day change management exercise oriented to better position the bank to reach the SME target market.

Support started with an institutional diagnostic and review of existing strategy, determining baseline, market study and technical assistance implementation plan. The advisor provided day to day coaching to bank staff through a change management approach and advised the bank’s management team, as they introduced new approaches in use of market information, defining market segments, improving SME product process and procedures and highlighting risks and internal controls related to the off-site operations required with SME lending. The assistance enhanced the customer culture, credit risk technology, SME product policy and procedures, human resource capacity and organization.

SME credit management support in Rwanda

At the request of both a major commercial bank in Rwanda and ShoreCap Exchange, Ayani assisted the bank with both business process improvements as well as with hands-on advice on immediate measures that could improve the quality of the SME portfolio.

Services delivered covered:

  1. Immediate measures to improve the portfolio quality: Follow-up on problem loans and follow action plans for all high priority items identified in prior portfolio review; Loan Provisioning: Recommendation to shore up reserves in accordance with buckets of risk; Assisting in the improvement of overdraft and credit line procedures.
  2. Lending policy and procedure development: Developed full credit policy and procedures for cash flow based SME lending, including templates for cash flow analysis, and reports to management and Board.
  3. Training of loan officers and loan managers, loan committee, and on-site coaching on loan monitoring.

SME finance review and rebranding in Nigeria

Ayani assisted First City Monument Bank PLC to better align operations, services and products to the SME market segment with a view to reaching the target groups better.

A resident advisor assisted FCMB on a day to day base in this. One key obstacle was identified and addressed first: an enormous amount of dormant accounts and non-performing checking accounts. The product was re-designed and rebranded.

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