GETP launches $7m entrepreneurship hubs programme in Accra
$7million grant programme aimed at supporting the development of entrepreneurship hubs in the country to build their capacity to the international level was yesterday launched in Accra.
The hubs will be supported to run programmes that would benefit firms and startups within selected communities across the country.
Known as the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) Grant Programme, the World Bank funded initiative is under the government’s Ghana Economic Transformation Project (GETP).
Selected hubs will receive $200,000 each to support their operations, upgrade their offices and equipments and run acceleration programmes.
The NEIP’s programmes fall under the component three of GETP’s entrepreneurship and SME growth in non-resource-based sectors and it is aimed at addressing the limited development of the SME support ecosystem including early stage financing to promote and strengthen a growth model that is conducive to economic transformation and achieve higher rates of investment.
It would among others, competitively select hubs which would be provided technical assistance and capacity building to address gaps identified during benchmarking exercises.
Speaking at the launch, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NEIP, Kofi Ofosu Nkansah said the Ghanaian startup landscape had seen tremendous growth in the number of innovation hubs over the last decade, saying NEIP had consistently collaborated with the hubs over the last six years.
He revealed that applications had been opened to all the incubation and entrepreneurship hubs in the country and advised prospective applicants to visit www.neip.gov.gh and apply.
The CEO indicated that his outfit had organised workshops for all prospective hubs which spelt out the modalities and criteria for the application.
He expressed gratitude to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his continuous support for the growth of the entrepreneurship ecosystem and various interventions implemented to ignite and unleash the innovative and entrepreneurship zeal of the youth to reduce unemployment.
Mr Nkansah assured, there would be a robust evaluation and management framework that would be employed to closely monitor the beneficiaries to ensure the monies allocated to them are used for the intended purpose.
“We are very serious about this project and will make sure all beneficiaries do not go contrary to the agreement. Also, we are not going to release the full amount to them at once, the money will be given out in trenches so if any hub fails to perform satisfactorily, we will not release the rest of the grant to them,” he added.
Chairman of the Ghana Hubs Network, a technology innovation hub that serves as an umbrella body for all businesses, technology and innovation hubs in Ghana, Mr Josiah Eyison was hopeful that the initiative would go a long way in boosting the businesses of the beneficiaries and creating more innovative jobs in the country.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU