SNV, EU backed €250,000 YESS Fund to support SMEs


The Ghana Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs (GCYE) has introduced a revolving fund programme aimed at offering accessible financial support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro businesses, with a particular focus on those operating in the environmental sustainability space and circular economy.

To kickstart this initiative, the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the European Union (EU) have contributed €250,000 as initial seed capital for the fund. This fund, known as the Young Entrepreneurs and Startup Support Fund (YESS) will provide loans to eligible SMEs and youth entrepreneurs of green businesses that meet the fund’s criteria.

Speaking during the fund’s inauguration event in Accra, Sherif Ghali, the Chief Executive Officer of GCYE, recalled the genesis of the fund which can be traced back to the national Young Entrepreneurs Forums held by the chamber in 2019.

“These forums brought together some of the most brilliant minds and dedicated change-makers in our nation,” he said adding that the enthusiastic voices of young entrepreneurs, as they shared their aspirations and obstacles, vividly portrayed the enormous potential within the country’s youth, while also highlighting the urgent requirement for access to financial resources and assistance.

“In a nation teeming with potential and entrepreneurial spirit, it has long been a lamentable fact that many young, innovative minds face insurmountable barriers in their journey to transform ideas into thriving businesses. Statistics have consistently shown that access to finance remains a formidable challenge for our young entrepreneurs, limiting their capacity to scale, innovate, and create employment opportunities.

“So, I am elated to share that our collective vision, determination, and collaboration have borne fruit. The YESS Fund is not just an idea on paper but a tangible manifestation of our commitment to empowering young entrepreneurs across Ghana. It is a testament to the power of unity, innovation, and the unwavering belief in the potential of our youth,” Ghali said.

Catalysing partnerships

On her part, Barbara White Nkoala, the Country Director of SNV Ghana, emphasized SNV Netherlands Development Organisation’s mission to enhance capabilities and foster partnerships that lead to lasting impact across three primary sectors: agriculture and food, energy, and water systems.

In this context, she expressed confidence that the YESS Fund will facilitate accessible financing for SMEs who have successfully completed the GrEEn Incubation and GrEEn Acceleration Programs. It will also extend its support to micro-businesses and entrepreneurs who have graduated from the Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) training program, a component of our GrEEn Project.

The GrEEn Project, a collaborative effort involving the European Union, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), is a four-year initiative. Its primary goal is to boost economic and employment opportunities for youth, women, and returning migrants by promoting and assisting sustainable, environmentally friendly businesses in two selected regions in Ghana: Ashanti and Western.

She commended the GCYE for their partnership in setting up this fund to support access to funding for entrepreneurs at the local and regional level.

The GrEEn Project Manager, Laouali Sadda, added: “The outcome of this joint initiative, developed by the GrEEn project and the Ghana Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs is one of the most important collective takeaway, a legacy the GrEEn project wants to leave behind after it closes its doors in some months.”

Leave a Reply