Editorial: Lifeline for MSMEs

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It appears Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) which have been hit hard in amid the COVID-19 are really being catered to. Apart from the GH¢600million secured under government’s stimulus package programme, the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) says it will be disbursing the GH¢90million secured together with the Mastercard Foundation.

The move is to offer some more cushioning and ensure MSMEs keep afloat. The NBSSI which begins disbursement of the GH¢600million this week, will soon after be disbursing the GH¢90million.

The NBSSI Mastercard Foundation Recovery and Resilience Programme for MSMEs focuses on supporting MSMEs where the employment of young people, especially young women, will be negatively impacted as a result of business operation disruptions, supply chain challenges, liquidity shortages, declining sales and profits, and business closures.

The NBSSI Mastercard Foundation Recovery and Resilience Programme for MSMEs followed the Foundation’s recent announcement of its West, Central and Northern Regional office opening in Accra to drive its Young Africa Works strategy in the region.

Young Africa Works was developed in consultation with young people, policymakers, educators and entrepreneurs, and is Mastercard Foundation’s strategy that aims to extend dignified work to 30 million young people in Africa, with 3 million in Ghana – 70 percent of which will be young women – over the next 10 years.

The amount and type of financial support provided will vary depending on size of the enterprise, their need and repayment capacity. This indeed is a lifeline for MSMEs which have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with many folding up or laying off staff to cut down on costs.

What makes it even more pertinent is the fact that the facility targets young people, particularly women to give them capital to employ more hands as well as expand their operations.

MSMEs remain the major avenue of employment and can absorb a chunk of the unemployed youth if supported. They are believed to contribute about 70 percent to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and account for 92 percent of businesses in the country.

About 60% of all private sector jobs are from small businesses. Additionally, MSMEs supply about 80% of Jobs and cater for the lower end of majority of the population which holds the potential for poverty reduction and development of African economies, and achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

 

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