NBSSI, MasterCard Foundation support 50 entrepreneurs in Ahafo with start-up kits

Photo: Robert Dwomoh Mensah, Asutifi South DCE (right) presents items to a beneficiary as Kwasi Abayie Acheampong, Ahafo Regional Manager (1st left) & Thomas Stephenson Afreh, Ahafo Regional Coordinator-NBSSI/MasterCard Foundation (2nd left) look on.

Fifty entrepreneurs in the Ahafo Region have received massive support to propel them begin their businesses.

The 50 beneficiaries have undergone successful training in hairdressing, baking and confectionery, sewing and welding. They have also been presented with free start-up kits for the various enterprises. The items include sewing machines, hair-dryers, welding machines, ovens and gas cylinders among others.

The gesture is part of the implementation of the Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurship (A2E) component of a partnership project between the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and MasterCard Foundation.

The three-year project ‘Young Africa Works in Ghana’ which was launched in June 2020 seeks to create access to dignified work for 39,000 youth and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); about 70 percent of the targeted group will be young women. Other components of the project are Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) and MSME Business Acceleration (MBA).

During the short ceremony at Hwidiem in the Ahafo Region, the Executive Director-NBSSI, Mrs. Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, in a speech read for her said the Young Africa Works project is in line with the government’s commitment to creating decent, dignified and sustainable jobs to cushion socioeconomic development of the country, adding: “Since 2017 the NBSSI has created over 18,600 jobs, 61 percent of these figures are females.”

She encouraged the beneficiaries to make the utmost use of the start-up kits to better their lives and also advised them to seek knowledge at the Business Advisory Centres (BACs) to improve their businesses. The NBSSI Boss commended its partners- MasterCard Foundation for the support and commitment to grow and develop the MSME sector in the country.

Mr. Robert Dwomoh Mensah, District Chief Executive for Asutifi South for his part, applauded the NBSSI for its transformational drive to change the status quo of MSME sector in the country. He said internally generated fund (IGF) of the Assembly is not encouraging, attribution the situation to inactiveness of the private sector, particularly MSMEs in that area.

Photo: Beneficiaries & officials in a pose

The DCE resolved to partner NBSSI to improve the situation so as to boost revenue generation in the district. He advised businesses to embrace the concept of innovation and adaption to modernity to be relevant. Mr. Mensah also urged the public to patronize locally produced goods and services to help the growth and development of local businesses.

A beneficiary, Linda Serwaa, 26, in an interview described the gesture of NBSSI and MasterCard Foundation as “game-changing intervention” and expressed her sincere appreciation for the support.

The young hairdresser from Goaso said: “I completed my three-year apprenticeship in January 2020 but the future was quite bleak because support was not forthcoming to buy start-up kits to begin life. But little did I know that God was going to make a way for me.”

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