About 200 youth engaged in Small Scale Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have participated in an investment forum in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, to explore workable solutions to challenges limiting investments and also attract investors locally or from the diaspora.
This year’s forum was under the auspices of the Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) of the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation.
The three-day forum which had the theme, “Pathways to Promoting Investment Opportunities in the Green and Circular Economy,” targeted investors in the country, abroad and key business stakeholders and green businesses in the Ashanti Region.
There were presentations, panel discussions, pitch sessions and exhibitions to ensure improved awareness of the economic opportunities in the country’s green and circular economy with special focus on Ashanti and Western Regions.
It offered the SMEs a platform to network, increase their understanding of and demystifying the investment landscape for green entrepreneurs in the country.
The GrEEn project, funded by the European Union in Ghana, is being co-implemented by SNV Ghana and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).
Mrs Genevive Parker-Twum, Senior Incubation and Acceleration Advisor on SNV’s GrEEn Project, mentioned that SNV Ghana was dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs and businesses in Ghana’s circular economy to promote sustainable jobs and development.
According to Mrs Parker-Twum, they were very keen in supporting SMEs, particularly in the packaging of their products to meet international standards to reflect sustainability.
The project, she said, would also provide support for the SMEs to build businesses that have proper management systems, operate eco-inclusive business models that offered environmental and social benefits to their communities and were compliant with regulation.
“Start-ups are also supported to fine-tune their business modules, re-align their business models to make them sustainable and climate resilient,” she emphasised.
Mrs Parker-Twum appealed to SMEs to take advantage of the “export school” under the project, in order to be abreast of the nitty gritty of exports of goods and services.
Mr Yofi Grant, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, noted that youth empowerment was a major fulcrum of the country’s economy.
He said engaging the youth was crucial as they formed about 60 per cent of the country’s population.
“We should make deliberate efforts to ensure the youth are part of any composition, because most of the SMEs to come would be from the youth bracket, so it is important to connect them to investors for the future of the country”, he underlined.
SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, is a nonprofit international development organisation that makes difference in the lives of people living in poverty by helping them raise income and access basic services.
Since 2020, it had held 10 job fairs at the district and regional levels in partnership with local assemblies in providing support, career guidance and counselling and connecting job seekers to green employers.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASI