The First batch of representatives of 10 micro small and meduim enterprises (MSMEs) have graduated from the SNV Ghana boosting Green Employment and Enterprises Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) incubation project at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) Business Hub (U-Hub) atTarkwa, in the Western Region.
The participants included Kobina Ayensu Bortsie, KENEM Ventures, Jesse Rolland Prah, Roland Rice, Peter Kyei, Fresh Life 360, Anthony Ackah Enyimah, Enrock,Blankson Asiako, Blankrick Company Ltd and Nana Yaa Manu Adjei from Water Force Ventures.
The programme, initiated by SNV together with partners including Duapa Werkspace, African Aurora Business Network (AABN) and U-HUB, started in November 2020, and currentlyhas 25MSMEs in the Western Region.
The first batch of 10, who graduated on Thursday, was incubated in March 2021 and phased- out in September, this year.
The project seeks to support the development and scale-up of businesses in the agriculture sector, renewable energy and water and sanitation and targets young people between the ages of 15 and 35 and up to 40 for females.
Overall, the project being implemented in Western and Ashanti Regions, focuses on creating climate resilient communities, addressing skills gaps and increasing access to finance for youth and women.
The Deanof the Office of Research,Innovations, and Consultancy (ORIC), Professor Solomon Nunoo, mentioned that UMaT Business Incubation (U-Hub) was the university’s vehicle for commercialising innovations and business ideas.
The hub, he said, was alsofor building the capacity of young entrepreneurs, as part of the university’s extension service activities to its catchment area.
The journey to establish a business incubation hub, he revealed, began in 2015, when UMaT instituted an Annual Innovation and Career Fair, to encourage and advance innovations within the university community, especially among students.
These fairs, Prof Nunoo explained, served as platforms for students to pitch problem-solving innovations and the best 10, rewarded and supported to further develop their innovations and ideas.
“UMaT ensures that every student takes a course in Business Entrepreneurship. Therefore, establishment of U-Hub was not only to provide the continuum for transitioning from Innovation and Career Fairs into business incubation, but, also to ensure a link between the theory of entrepreneurial courses in the classroom with the practice of initiating, owning and running a business,”he added.
The opportunity given U-Hub to be service provider under the SNV GrEEn Project, he said, had been of immense relevance to UMaT cause.
Prof Nunoo said, in the first batch, U-Hub had three SMEs from all the water, sanitation and hygiene sector; one into plastic recycling for the plastic product manufacturing market and two in the production of soap and hand sanitisers.
Genevieve Parker-Twum,Senior Incubation and Acceleration Advisor, SNV/GrEEn Project, believed that the graduates would channel their experts into profitable ventures in the next 50 years.
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, TARKWA