A GH¢100million fund has been set up by the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), formerly National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), to help support and reinvigorate the operations of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) across the country.
The fund went into effect with the official launch of the GEA on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, and is one of the perquisites mentioned in the GEA Act that was passed by parliament in November last year. The intention is to ensure that there is a revolving fund that MSMEs can tap from to accelerate their growth, so they meaningfully contribute to the country’s economic growth.
With this, it is hoped that the GEA’s aim to interrelate, administer and stimulate development of Micro, Small, and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) will be realised sooner than later.
Announcing the Fund at a meet the press series organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra, the Chief Executive Officer of GEA, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, said modalities for distribution and managing the sustainability of the Fund are currently being discussed and will be announced in due time to stakeholders. The move is also under government’s Ghana Economic Transformation programme.
She added that the new GEA will give holistic support to MSMEs and follow them through their formative stages till they are converted into industry giants. As a result, there will constant provision of information, knowledge and skills, as well as advice on the various aspects of a business to spur MSME growth in the country.
She said the GEA will also work hard and gather enough data on MSMEs to guide strategic policy planning. “Over the years, there have been various papers and policies on industrialisation, but nothing really on the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises giving it direction, plans for growth and strategic positions to support the economy,” Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh said.
Establishment of the MSME Fund
Although the NBSSI was providing low-cost funding for businesses, this was not part of its mandate under the NBSSI Act. The GEA Act has regularised this by establishing the MSME Fund. The object of the fund is to provide funding for MSMEs.
It will achieve this by applying proceeds of the Fund to relevant activities determined by the Agency. The Fund will be financed by monies approved by parliament, grants, gifts, donations, voluntary contributions and money which may become lawfully payable to the Agency. The Fund shall be managed by the Agency’s governing board.
Funding the Agency
Similar to the NBSSI, the Agency is funded by money approved by Parliament, seed money allocated by government, internally generated funds, donations and grants approved by the Minister of Finance. Unlike the NBSSI, the agency can now obtain loans in its own capacity, subject to the approval of Parliament and prior written approval from the Minister of Finance.