There is more good news for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) which have been hit hard in amid the COVID-19 economic challenges, as the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has said it will be disbursing the GH¢90million secured together with the Mastercard Foundation.
The disbursement will happen right after the GH¢600million secured under government’s stimulus package programme begins to deplete. The move is to offer some more cushioning and ensure MSMEs keep afloat as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on their operations.
The NBSSI will begin disbursement of the GH¢600million this week, with the GH¢90million expected to be tagged on. Some other funding partners, including the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), will be offering some funding to boost the support NBSSI is giving MSMEs in these COVID-19 economic challenges.
The Executive Director of NBSSI, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, told the B&FT in an interview: “We are looking at a number funding channels to ensure that MSMEs get the needed funding in these difficult times. For the GH¢600million stimulus package, the money is in; and we are working hard to disburse it to the qualified persons as early as possible,” she said.
The NBSSI Mastercard Foundation Recovery and Resilience Programme for MSMEs will focus on supporting the following MSMEs and start-ups: MSMEs which need support to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as businesses in growth sectors 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.
Also, businesses providing services which will be in demand during the pandemic and have the potential to grow and positively impact communities affected by COVID-19, and businesses that focus on digitisation to support MSMEs.
Creating 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 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 effects of COVID-19 are multifaceted and unfolding rapidly. We expect that the prospects of young people in Ghana, and the rest of Africa, will be deeply impacted. We will continue working with young people to better understand their needs, amplify their voices, and co-create solutions which will enable them to reach their full potential. We are also keenly considering what lessons we can glean during this time to better equip young people for a future in which work will be increasingly digital,” says Mastercard Foundation President and CEO, Reeta Roy.
The programme is expected to provide financial assistance, in the form of grants and soft loans, via participating institutions – banks, microfinance, mobile lenders, NGOs and Business Development Services – to eligible, qualified micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, both formal and informal. The amount and type of financial support provided will vary depending on size of the enterprise, their need and repayment capacity.
Once participating institutions have been onboarded, NBSSI will put out a call to MSMEs and start-ups to apply for funding via a centralised web-based platform. Information will also be made available via NBSSI’s 178 Business Advisory Centres and 37 Business Resource Centres across the country.