The European Union funded GrEEn Project has, so far, awarded over GH₵3million to sustainable businesses in the Ashanti and Western Regions, Project Manager for the GrEEn Project, Laouali Sadda, has disclosed.
He said the amount was given to entrepreneurs in the form of matching grants to boost their activities.
“I am proud to say that through the implementation of the GrEEn Project and the GrEEn Innovation Challenge – an initiative we rolled out to provide financial support to businesses with innovative ideas – we have awarded over GH₵3million to sustainable local businesses, and recently joined six green entrepreneurs to commission their factories across the Ashanti Region, with plans to launch additional ones before the GrEEn Project ends,” he said.
Mr. Laouali Sadda said this during the opening ceremony of a three-day trade show organised by SNV Ghana for green SMEs in the Ashanti Region under the GrEEn Project.
The trade show was on the theme ‘Sustainable Trade Investment, the Future for the Ghanaian Economy’.
In all, about 58 businesses located in the Ashanti Region participated in the trade show held at Kejetia, Kumasi. Out of the participants, 40 were graduates of the SNV Ghana’s six-month GrEEn Incubation and/or GrEEn Acceleration Programmes and have received training and business advisory support from SNV and its partner – with some awarded grants to build and expand their business.
The remaining 18 are sustainable and eco-friendly local businesses that have been supported by Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and GIZ Ghana.
The Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana, popularly known as the GrEEn Project, is an action funded by the European Union and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana which has been jointly implemented by SNV Ghana and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) since 2019.
The GrEEn Project aims to support the growth of green, climate resilient and sustainable businesses as well as provide skills development to youths in the Ashanti and Western Regions.
Develop strategies to sustain businesses
Meanwhile, as part of efforts to ensure the SMEs remain resilient, the Ashanti Regional Officer of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mamuda Osman, encouraged the green entrepreneurs to develop strategies that would make their businesses sustainable.
He said this would also help boost the country’s economy as well.
“We need to develop strategies in sustaining these businesses for the development of our economy. The Global economy is sinking for various reasons. One major factor that makes Ghana’s economy to struggle is lack of adequate industrialisation, which makes it dependent on imports.
“Any country depending heavily on imported products risks having a weak currency, unemployment and poverty; and these are threats to our national security. If we can rise beyond these economic challenges, one way you and I could be of help is to develop a taste for what is made in Ghana.”