The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and its partners have supported over 100 enterprises and individuals in the Prestea-Huni Valley Municipality and Wassa East District of the Western Region.
A statement issued in Accra by the Board said the funding support for women and youth entrepreneurs was relevant and timely particularly within the COVID-19 era, where Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) were negatively affected.
It said the funding provided was for individuals to expand existing businesses or start new ones.
“The women and youth entrepreneurs are WAGES Project Beneficiaries who are engaged in agro-processing, manufacturing, services and primary agricultural activities,” it added.
The project being implemented in the Region is in partnership with the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) through the West Africa Governance and Economic Sustainability in Extractive Areas (WAGES) Project.
Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, the Executive Director of NBSSI said, “The overarching objective of the Project is to create new jobs, increase income and better economic perspective for Ghana.”
She said that resonated with Government’s Beyond Aid Agenda, which focused on job and wealth creation.
“The Fund is also in alignment with the Government’s Ten Point Agenda for Industrial Transformation being championed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to accelerate the growth of the MSME Sector by providing timely interventions such as access to finance,” she added.
The Project, which commenced in 2016 for the first time, provided access to finance component to beneficiaries, who had received entrepreneurship and skills training from NBSSI in collaboration with WUSC.
Under the collaboration, NBSSI trained 673 beneficiaries in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management out of, which 200 were given additional training in Packaging, Branding, Organizational Safety, Health and Environmental Management, Kaizen and Business Plan Preparation to broaden their horizon on current business trends.
She said the Board also partnered Ghana Standards Authority, Food and Drugs Authority and Registrar General’s Department amongst others to assist beneficiaries in formalizing their businesses-a big step in ensuring the sustainability of the support provided.
Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh reiterated NBSSI’s commitment to continuing to support the beneficiaries in training, coaching and mentoring to ensure that the Fund was utilized for its intended purpose.
“The Board is also committed to its mandate to promote and develop MSMEs in the wake of the current global economic downturn.
Mrs. Emelia Ayipio Asamoah, the Country Director of WUSC Ghana, said the University had enjoyed a great working partnership with NBSSI since the commencement of the Project, and looked forward to a more fruitful collaboration in their mutual quest to empower entrepreneurs, especially women and youth, to cope with the impact of COVID-19 in particular.
The project is jointly implemented in Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Guinea with the aim of breaking the vicious cycle in which local communities, especially women and youth, are excluded from the benefits of mining investments.
The Project’s principal areas of focus include; local governance, sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and regional knowledge-sharing on development best practices in mining areas.
It also seeks to empower local communities and integrate women and youth to participate in local governance, economic opportunities and the sustainable development of the areas.
WAGES collaborates with local and national governments, select mining communities and Small and Medium-sized businesses for support. The WAGES Project is funded by Global Affairs Canada.