GH¢160m SMEs support programme launched

A GH¢160 million programme to support Small and Medi­um-scale Enter­prises (SMEs) to accelerate their growth was launched in Accra yesterday.

Dubbed, “SME High Growth Programme,” it is being funded by the World Bank and implemented by the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) with a target of 2,000 SMEs under the Economic Trans­formation Project (GETP).

The programme is focused on providing beneficiary SMEs with technical assistance on business management capabilities and pro­ductivity-enhancing improvements for improved business operating culture that will enhance competi­tion and growth.

At a ceremony to launch the programme yesterday, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Ad­jei, said the programme formed part of government’s efforts to promote private investments and firm growth in non-resource-based sectors.

She noted that selected SMEs would undergo generic training, capacity upgrades, and would be pro­vided with grants that could enable business transformation and growth.

Women-owned businesses, en­terprises using green technologies, youth-owned SMEs, and firms owned by Persons with Disability (PWDs), she noted, would be given special attention under the programme.

The Deputy Minister said the programme’s support was expected to culminate into job creation and job sustainability.

Further, Mrs Asiamah-Adjei noted that the support would transition the beneficiary SMEs into the next stage of growth, thereby improving their ability to increase sales and exports.

Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, said the pro­gramme was designed with the ob­jective to boost the productivity and competitiveness of small and medium-sized firms with high potential for scaling up their operations, increasing sales and creating sustainable jobs.

She stated that the technical assistance component of the pro­gramme was necessary to help the businesses take advantage of tech­nology and other modern platforms to transform their businesses.

All interested applicants, she not­ed, were required to visit the agency’s portal which was opened from now till February 22 this year for regis­tration.

Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said successful applicants would have access to a diagnostic self-assessment to help gauge capacity gaps in their oper­ations and further receive generic training to augment their business management capacity.

“Qualifying applicants will have a detailed 360 diagnostic performed on their businesses to highlight strengths and capacity gaps.

“Tailored capacity support will be provided to the selected applicants to help address identified gaps. Ap­plicants will also be eligible for cata­lytic grants as an additional incentive to spur enterprises competitiveness, innovation and growth,” she noted.


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