Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) has launched a new SME High Growth Programme to build on and consolidate the successes achieved under the various SME-focused support initiatives.
Through the partnership, grant support of US$20 million (cedis equivalent) has been earmarked for the flagship SME High Growth Programme, targeting SMEs nationwide for general training, capacity upgrades, consulting, and financing.
The Grant Programme’s support is expected to help 2,000 SMEs to become investment ready, capable of attracting both local and foreign capital into their businesses, increase sales and more importantly build their capacities to export and culminate into job creation and job sustainability.
“It is designed to provide training and capacity building necessary to lead to the operational efficiency of the enterprises, boost their competitiveness and scale up their operations for further job creation,” Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Chief Executive Officer of GEA said at the launch.
She said the programme would provide the SMEs with all the relevant tools in Business Development, including digital marketing tools necessary to enable them to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
“This makes the programme design very relevant to the vision of His excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for SMEs through the GEA, that is to optimize their potential to enable them to contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of the national economy and poverty reduction.
“I am happy that together with our Development partner, the World Bank, through the GETP, we can deliver this support to our SMEs,” she added.
Small or Medium Enterprise (SME) with a majority Ghanaian shareholding of 51 per cent or more and registered under Ghanaian law in sectors such as Agribusiness/agro-processing, Construction, Education, Food and Beverage, Healthcare or Pharmaceutical industries, ICT, Manufacturing, Textile & Garment, Tourism & Hospitality, Trade/Commerce of locally produced goods, Transport and Logistics are qualified to participate in the programme.
Small enterprises should also demonstrate an
employee size of six to 30 and/or annual sales between GHS 180,000 and GHS 7.2Million while Medium enterprises should demonstrate an employee size of 31 to 100 and annual sales between GHS 7.2M and GHS 21.6M
The GEA has So far implemented three successful interventions under Ghana Economic Transformation (GET) Project, including phases 1 and 2 of the COVID-19 Response Grant Programme and this current SME High Growth programme.
More than GHS 65 million has been disbursed/committed to more than 800 SMEs between September 2021 to December 2022 with almost 40 per cent of the funding going to women-owned enterprises at a value of more than GHS 23 million.
Overall, the scheme has chalked over a 90% satisfaction rate based on an online survey conducted in March 2022. This is because the application process is transparent and fast.
3,195 jobs have been sustained by 311 firms supported with grants.
Launching the program, Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, said the SME Growth Grant Programme, an initiative supported by the World Bank, is being implemented by GEA under the Ghana Economic Transformation (GET) Project.
She said the programme aimed to address the many challenges faced by SMEs because of the Covid-19 pandemic to enhance the productivity and competitiveness of high-growth export companies, and viable firms owned by the vulnerable, such as women-owned enterprises, persons with disability and the youth.
“In effect, the second phase of the nationwide Grant Programme being launched this day will focus only on eligible SMEs in priority sectors that are still negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis but have also shown positive signs of resilience to spur growth,” she said.
The main objective is to provide these SMEs with liquidity to enable them to readjust and bounce back to profitable businesses that contribute meaningfully to Ghana’s overall economic growth.
The Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment to fully implement all initiatives under the Ghana Economic Transformation Project, including the Grant Programme, for the full benefit of SMEs across the country.
She encouraged all beneficiaries to use the grant received for the intended projects to grow and expand their operations.