Ten Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have graduated from SNV’s Boosting Green Employment and Enterprises Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) Incubation project at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) Business Hub (U-Hub) at Tarkwa, in the Western Region.
The project, seeks to support the development and scale – up of businesses in the agriculture sector, renewable energy and water and sanitation. It targets young people between the ages of 15 and 35 and up to 40 for females.
Initiated by SNV Ghana in partnership with Duapa Werkspace, African Aurora Business Network (AABN) and U-HUB, the project which started in November last year currently has 25 MSME’s.
“Ten out of the 25 MSMEs are the first batch who are graduating today, they were incubated in March 2021 and phased out in September, this year,” Prof. Solomon Nunoo, Dean of the Office of Research, Innovations, and Consultancy (ORIC) at UMaT said this at the SNV GrEEn Project Cohort 1 ceremony.
He explained that in the first batch, U-Hub had three SMEs from all the water, sanitation and hygiene sector; one into plastic recycling for the plastic product manufacturing market, and two in the production of soap and hand sanitizers.
He said: “as a university and a hub, we have the needed expertise in the Green Economy. The SNV GrEEn Project provides us an opportunity to demonstrate this and we look forward to better times ahead in our collective effort to formalize the existing SME sector and to support business start-ups of young people, provide jobs in order to reduce unemployment in Ghana”.
He furthered explained that UMaT’s U-Hub is the university’s vehicle for commercialising innovations and business ideas.
The hub, according to him is also for building the capacity of young entrepreneurs, as part of the university’s extension service activities to its catchment area.
He reveled that the journey to establish a business incubation hub, begun in 2015, when UMaT instituted an annual innovation and career fair, to encourage and advance innovations within the university community, especially, among students.
These fairs, Prof. Nunoo said, serve as platforms for students to pitch problem-solving innovations and the best 10 rewarded and supported to further develop their innovations and ideas.
“The opportunity given U-Hub to be service provider under the SNV GrEEn Project has been of immense relevance to UMaT cause,” he added.
He noted that the graduates have been empowered and MSME’s are ready to compete to market, excel and grow their businesses.
Madam Genevieve Parker-Twum, Senior Incubation and Acceleration Advisor, SNV GrEEn Project, believed the graduates will channel their experts into profitable ventures.
She said is the project being implemented in Western and Ashanti Regions, focuses on creating climate resilient communities, addressing skills gaps and increasing access to finance for youth and women.
“We will continue to monitor and support them with access to finance to improve upon job creation and make greater environmental impact,” she added.