The European Union (EU), under its Green Employment and Enterprise (GrEEn) opportunities in Ghana innovation challenge, has awarded 12 start-ups and entrepreneurs within the Western and Ashanti Regions with a matching grant of GH¢1,170,000.
This funding aspect of the project is aimed at supporting and speeding-up the growth of these Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the green and circular economy, so they can offer decent, fair and sustainable jobs to youth, women and returning migrants within these regions.
The GrEEn Innovation Challenge was commenced in July 2021 by SNV Ghana and other partners, and is aimed at scaling-up innovative green ideas and businesses, supporting growth of local economies and creating short-term job opportunities through cash for work schemes for green and climate-resilient infrastructure among others.
The 12 selected green businesses included six from Ashanti Region – Supreme Pod Industries, GH¢70,000; Rural Green Recycling, GH¢55,000; Recycling Fields GH¢100,000; Ofnet Farms, GH¢70,000; Eazz Foods, GH¢65,000; and Eye of the Brain Ecofeeds, GH¢85,000.
The other half include five from Western Region – A. Arthur Enterprise, GH¢80,000; Waterforce Ventures, GH¢95,000; Antannah Farms, GH¢100,000; Roland Rice, GH¢175,000; Mending Banana and Plantain Stem Papers, GH¢175,000; and Pamela Chicks & Feeds, GH¢100,000.
Greater Accra – These startups were selected based on their innovative products and services in SNV’s three key sectors: agriculture, renewable energy & energy efficiency, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
EU Ambassador to Ghana, Irshad Ramiandrasoa Razaaly, in his address at the awards presentation indicated that the EU has a keen interest in green initiatives because climate change is one of the major global challenges of this century as biodiversity loss, natural resources shortage and pollution issues increase.
“As a global leader, the EU will continue to lead international efforts; and in conjunction with our partners address environmental challenges and promote the implementation of ambitious environment, climate and energy policies across the world. Through bilateral efforts, we will accompany partners to transition toward more sustainable development pathways.
“This project is one of several initiatives we have running in the country directed at creating sustainable jobs for youth, women and returning migrants, as well as supporting green businesses to scale up,” he said.
Interim Project Manager-SNV GrEEn Project, Sarah Naa Dede Agbey, on her part stated that green jobs per the project scope are jobs that are environmentally and socially friendly, as well as economical and sustainable. She added that these start-ups were not only provided with funds but have also received capacity building through training in business and financial management, leadership skills and innovation to sustain the business, among others.