A new SME High Growth Programme has been introduced by Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) to build on and consolidate the results realized under the various SME-focused assistance programmes.
A grant support of US$20 million (cedis equivalent) has been set aside through the cooperation for the flagship SME High Growth Programme, which targets SMEs nationally for general training, capacity improvements, advising, and finance.
The support of the Grant Program is anticipated to assist 2,000 SMEs in becoming investment-ready, capable of attracting both domestic and foreign capital into their businesses, increasing sales and, more importantly, enhancing their exporting capacities, which will ultimately lead to the creation and sustainability of jobs.
“It is designed to provide training and capacity building necessary to lead to the operational efficiency of the enterprises, boost their competitiveness and scale up their operations for further job creation,” Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Chief Executive Officer of GEA said at the launch.
She said the programme would provide the SMEs with all the relevant tools in Business Development, including digital marketing tools necessary to enable them to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
“This makes the programme design very relevant to the vision of His excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for SMEs through the GEA, that is to optimize their potential to enable them to contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of the national economy and poverty reduction.
“I am happy that together with our Development partner, the World Bank, through the GETP, we can deliver this support to our SMEs,” she added.
Small or Medium Enterprise (SME) with a majority Ghanaian shareholding of 51 per cent or more and registered under Ghanaian law in sectors such as Agribusiness/agro-processing, Construction, Education, Food and Beverage, Healthcare or Pharmaceutical industries, ICT, Manufacturing, Textile & Garment, Tourism & Hospitality, Trade/Commerce of locally produced goods, Transport and Logistics are qualified to participate in the programme.
Small enterprises should also demonstrate an employee size of six to 30 and/or annual sales between GHS 180,000 and GHS 7.2Million while Medium enterprises should demonstrate an employee size of 31 to 100 and annual sales between GHS 7.2M and GHS 21.6M.
Phases 1 and 2 of the COVID-19 Response Grant Programme and this current SME High Growth Programme are the three effective interventions that the GEA has so far carried out under the Ghana Economic Transformation (GET) Project.
Between September 2021 and December 2022, more than GHS 65 million was disbursed or committed to more than 800 SMEs, with nearly 40% of the finance going to women-owned businesses with a combined value of more than GHS 23 million.
Based on an online survey completed in March 2022, the program has a satisfaction rating of above 90% overall. This is due to how quick and transparent the application procedure is.
3,195 jobs have been sustained by 311 firms supported with grants.
Launching the programe, Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, said the SME Growth Grant Programme, an initiative supported by the World Bank, is being implemented by GEA under the Ghana Economic Transformation (GET) Project.
She said the programme aimed to address the many challenges faced by SMEs because of the Covid-19 pandemic to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of high-growth export companies, and viable firms owned by the vulnerable, such as women-owned enterprises, persons with disability and the youth.
“In effect, the second phase of the nationwide
Grant Programme being launched this day, will focus only on eligible SMEs in priority sectors that are still negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis but have also showed positive signs of resilience to spur growth,” she said.
The primary goal is to support these SMEs with liquidity so they can adjust and turn around into successful firms that materially contribute to Ghana’s overall economic growth.
The Minister reaffirmed the Government’s dedication to completely implementing every project under the Ghana Economic Transformation Project, including the Grant Program, for the complete benefit of SMEs all around the nation.
She urged all beneficiaries to use the funding for the specified projects in order to develop and expand their businesses.