Ghanaian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) contributing to preserving and restoring the environment are to benefit from a revolving fund initiated by the European Union, the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, and the Ghana Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs (GCYE).
The Young Entrepreneurs Startups Support (YESS) Fund seeks to provide affordable financing aid to SMEs and micro businesses, especially in the sustainable and circular economy sector.
The SNV in Ghana and the EU is investing pound 250,000 into the Fund for youth entrepreneurs of green businesses to loan from, as the Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) Project draws to a close.
The GrEEn Project is a four-year action from the EU, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).
The project aims at creating greater economic and employment opportunities for youth, women and returning migrants by promoting and supporting sustainable, green businesses in the Ashanti and Western regions of Ghana.
At the launch of the Fund in Accra, Madam Barbara White Nkoala, Country Director of SNV Ghana, said the Fund was a sustainability measure to contribute to the expansion of MSMEs.
She said in the last four years, the GrEEn Project had provided incubator and accelerator support, business advisory services, business coaching and market linkage programmes, as well as providing funding to green microbusinesses and start-ups through its partner hubs.
‘Within the period, through our GrEEn Innovation Challenges and GrEEn Business Plan Competitions, 27 SMEs and 72 micro businesses respectively have been awarded matching grants of over GHS5 million,’ she said.
Madam Nkoala said the YESS Fund ‘is a legacy the GrEEn Project wants to leave behind’ and thanked its partners for making the Project successful.
Madam Marta Brignone, the Programme officer, Macroeconomics and Trade Section, EU Delegation to Ghana, said she was hopeful that the Fund would be sustained to continuously serve its purpose and urged all the stakeholders to contribute towards it.
‘The Development partner can contribute but we cannot make it sustainable…so we need all of us to contribute,’ she said.
Mr Sherif Ghali, the CEO of the GCYE, appealed to the Government and Development Partners to support the YESS Fund to expand its capacity and support young people to build sustainable businesses and create employment opportunities.
‘Access to affordable funds is a big problem for young entrepreneurs. It limits their capacity to scale up, create, and innovate,’ he said.
Source: Ghana News Agency