The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) in partnership with the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI) through the West Africa Governance and Economic Sustainability in Extractive Areas (WAGES) Project has supported over 100 entrepreneurs in the Prestea-Huni Valley Municipality and Wassa East District of the Western Region.
This funding, which goes to individuals to expand existing businesses or start their businesses, supports women and youth entrepreneurs and seen as relevant and timely particularly within this COVID-19 era since Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are negatively affected.
The women and youth entrepreneurs are WAGES Project Beneficiaries who are engaged in agro-processing, manufacturing, services and primary agricultural activities.
“The overarching objective of the Project is to create new jobs, increase income and better economic perspective for Ghana. This resonates with the Government’s Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda which focuses on job and wealth creation and complements governments efforts to support enterprises in these times,” said Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Executive Director of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI).
She added that the fund is also in alignment with the Government’s Ten Point Agenda for Industrial Transformation being championed by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) to accelerate the growth of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Sector by providing timely interventions such as access to finance.
The Project which commenced in 2016 for the first time provided an access to finance component to beneficiaries who had received Entrepreneurship and skills training from NBSSI in collaboration with WUSC.
Under the collaboration, NBSSI has trained 673 beneficiaries in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management out of which 200 were given additional training in Packaging, Branding, Organizational Safety, Health and Environmental Management (OSHEM), Kaizen and Business Plan Preparation to broaden their horizon on current business trends.
The Board also partnered with regulatory bodies such as Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) as well as Registrar General’s Department (RGD) amongst others to assist them in formalizing their businesses a big step in ensuring the sustainability of the support provided.
Yankey-Ayeh reiterated NBSSI’s commitment to continue to support the beneficiaries in terms of training, coaching and mentoring to ensure that the Fund is utilized for its intended purpose. She added that the Board is also committed to its mandate to promote and develop MSMEs in the wake of the current global economic downturn.
On her part, the Country Director of WUSC Ghana, Emelia Ayipio Asamoah said WUSC had enjoyed a great working partnership with NBSSI since the commencement of the Project, and looked forward to a more fruitful collaboration in their mutual quest to empower entrepreneurs, especially women and youth, to cope with the impact of COVID-19 in particular.