This year’s Cohort has four SMEs as beneficiaries who were selected among over 100 entries after going through a series of processes.
They include Jilfa Trends which uses textile waste to produce fashion related accessories, and Emmy’s Shop Afrik, which uses paper and textile waste to create dummies used in displaying clothes at fashion events and shops.
The others are Nel Seneels Ventures, which uses banana stems to produce clothes and hair extensions and fish bones to produce fashion accessories and K & G Farms which uses droppings from the chicken and pigs to produce organic manure.
Madam Hilda Abambire, Business Developing and Marketing Linkages Advisor for the SNV GrEEn Project disclosed that about twenty-two SMEs had benefited from its GrEEN incubation programme in the first and second cohorts.
She added that about 30 per cent of the beneficiaries had been female-led entities.
She explained that male-led entities had dominated the programme to the disadvantage of the females hence, the decision to dedicate Cohort three to female-led SMEs.
Madam Abambire explained that the GrEEn initiative was to promote a green economy, entrepreneurship, and employment in the country.
She said green business consisted of businesses, whose activities hovered around organic materials, getting rid of plastic wastes, renewable energy and other businesses that had the tendency to improve on the vast depletion of the ecosystem.
She mentioned that beneficiaries of the incubation programme would receive 6 months of support (office space with internet connectivity and other organization), business development and fiscal management development, business coaching services and mentoring services.
Other benefits were peer-to-peer networking and exchanges, networking sessions with relevant stakeholders among others, access to finance, and access to markets such as access to input and output markets like trade shows, value chain forums, investment forums, trade fairs and B2B.
The rest are record-keeping management; market research and scans; pitch development and skills; development of marketing handles like social media handles and investment readiness vouchers.
She congratulated the beneficiaries for gaining access to the programme and urged them to be good ambassadors of the GrEEn Project while using the knowledge gained to improve their businesses.
Mr James Arthur Amoah from SE-Hub announced that the entrepreneurship support would assist beneficiaries in building proper management systems and developing eco-inclusive business models that would offer social, environmental, and economic benefits.
By so doing, he said the incubated businesses would create decent and sustainable green jobs for youth, women and returning migrants, and contribute to green and climate-resilient local economies.
For her part, Madam Ama Alice, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cirillo Ventures called on the beneficiaries to be committed to the programme, actively participate in all the assignments, consider themselves fortunate and embrace it with all seriousness to build their capacity.
Mr Sherif Ghally, CEO of Ghana Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs (GCYE), operators of the YESS Fund mentioned the difficulty in accessing funds as one of the challenges facing young entrepreneurs and startups.
According to him, research showed that only five per cent of young entrepreneurs and startups could access traditional funding and explained that young entrepreneurs and startups tend to have little experience and few assets which made financial institutions see them as too risky despite the modest investment many require.