Ghana: GrEEn Innovation Challenge launches with 15 SMEs to recieve €25,000

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The 2022 edition of the GrEEn Innovation Challenge has commenced with 15 Small Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) from the Ashanti and Western regions to be given EUR 25,000.00 each to assist them to develop operational excellence and be investment ready.

The boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunity in Ghana (GrEEN) action is a four-year (2019-2023) project of the European Union (EU), the Embassy of Netherlands in Ghana, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).

GrEEn is implemented under the EU Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa, with a funding of EUR 20,000,000 from the EU, and co-funding of EUR 600,000 from SNV and UNCDF.

The 2022 theme “Promoting Job Creation through GrEEN Innovation” is co-implemented by SNV Ghana and UNCDF in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government, Decentralisation and Rural Development.

Twelve SMEs (six in Ashanti, five in Western, and one in Greater Accra) received a total matching grant of GH1.17 million in the first batch in December 2021 to help them expand their firms which are now scaling.

Senior Incubation and Acceleration Advisor for SNV’s GrEEn Project, Mrs. Genevieve Parker-Twum, stated that SNV Ghana was committed to helping company owners and entrepreneurs in Ghana’s secular economy to advance sustainable employment and development.

She emphasized that the project focused on enterprises in agriculture, renewable energy, water sanitation, and hygiene run by young people, women, and returning migrants between the ages of 18 and 35.

According to Mrs. Parker-Twum, the GrEEn Incubation and GrEEn Acceleration programs, which offered business advisory support to start-ups to help them scale up and mature as well as existing businesses to help them be investment ready, produced 15 beneficiaries who had graduated or were still receiving it.

She said that the project helped SMEs develop organizations with competent management systems, employ eco-inclusive business models that benefited their communities’ social and environmental well-being, and adhere to legal requirements.

“Start-ups are also supported to fine-tune their business modules, re-align their business models to make them sustainable and climate resilient,” she emphasized.

Mr Mamudu Osman, Ashanti Regional Officer at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, said the Ministry was ready to work with SNV in providing continuous support to SMEs in the GrEEn sector.

He urged Ghanaians to be more innovative in generating useful products from waste, stressing that “Ghanaians can create wealth and employment from millions of tonnes of waste created annually”.

He noted constituted 90 per cent of enterprises operating in the country were SMEs and there was the need to deepen their capacities, and innovate more to be competitive.

Mr. Osman urged SME operators to focus on growing their businesses in order to establish their presence in the ECOWAS market and take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) to export their goods to other areas of Africa.

Forster Asare and Kwaku Adjei, two of the first batch of grant recipients, urged coworkers to be sincere and honest when applying for the award and praised the project’s administrators for ongoing monitoring to ensure their businesses thrived.

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