The European Union (EU) and the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Ghana, has launched a €250,000 revolving fund to support small and medium enterprises (SME’s) focused on Ghana’s green and circular economy agenda.
The Young Entrepreneurs Start-ups Support (YESS) Fund would provide financial assistance to young entrepreneurs, start-ups and micro businesses working in the sector to promote environmental sustainability.
It is under the four-year Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) project which aims at creating greater economic and employment opportunities for youth, women and returning migrants by promoting and supporting sustainable green businesses in two selected regions in Ghana: Ashanti and Western.
Speaking at the launch, the Country Director of SNV Ghana, Barbara Nkoala said the fund was targeting about 125 green entrepreneurs who are members of the Ghana Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs (GCYE) and had undergone training under the project to help them develop innovative business ideas to promote environmental sustainability.
She said the fund would also offer support to micro-businesses and entrepreneurs who had graduated from the Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) training program, a component of the GrEEn Project.
“We are glad to partner with the EU to support job creation and access to affordable financing for SMEs under the Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana, popularly known as the GrEEn Project,” she said.
Ms Nkoala while acknowledging the contributions of the EU and Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana for the establishment of the fund, commended the GCYE for the partnership in setting up the fund to address Ghana’s environmental and economic problems.
The Chief Executive Officer of GCYE, Mr Sherif Ghali, expressed delight at the institution of the fund to support young entrepreneurs in their green businesses, saying “we are happy to have this funding support from the SNV GrEEn Project through the European Union which is about three million Ghana cedis which is up for young people no matter where they are.”
Mr Ghali stated that his outfit, which is the official mouthpiece of young entrepreneurs in Ghana was committed to contributing its quota in supporting government’s green initiative.
“The YESS Fund is not just an idea on paper but a tangible manifestation of our commitment to empowering young entrepreneurs across Ghana. It is a testament to the power of unity, innovation, and the unwavering belief in the potential of our youth.”
Mr Laouali Sadda, the GrEEn Project Manager, indicated that, “the outcome of this joint initiative, developed by the GrEEn project and the GCYE is one of the most important collective takeaway, a legacy the GrEEn project wants to leave behind after it closes its doors in some months.”
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH