A close-out and award ceremony of the GrEEn Incubation Programme by the EU-funded GrEEn Project has been held in the Western Region to recognise the work of all implementing partners as well as innovative green small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Awards were presented to some SMEs, with the Overall Best SME award taken by Jesse Roland Prah of Jesse Prah Enterprise (a rice farming and processing factory at Shama).
Innovative Green Business was awarded to Joana Arthur, CEO-Mending Papers; and Best Female-Led Business was received by Nana Yaa Manu, CEO-Waterforce Ventures.
Also, the Most Transformed Business award was presented to Georgina Odoom, CEO-Useful Waste Limited; and the Rising Star award was received by Joel Atanah, CEO-Antanah Farms.
The GrEEn Incubation Programme was implemented through a comprehensive enterprise development package that included business development training and capacity building, access to markets and networks, mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs and experts, as well as access to finance – particularly through the GrEEn Innovation Challenge, wherein 27 green entrepreneurs received a total of over GH¢3million matching grants to scale up their businesses.
Barbara White Nkoala, Country Director of SNV in Ghana, said through the GrEEn project partner hubs as well as Business Development and Market Linkages Advisors have supported the MSMEs to explore new market opportunities, including digital and online platforms for their inputs and finished products.
“The trade shows, exhibitions and networking events organised by GrEEn and partner organisations exposed the MSMEs to wider markets. GrEEn also organised Business to Business (B2B) trips to introduce the SMEs to input suppliers and potential output markets,” she said.
According to her, over 125 SMEs have been incubated through the comprehensive enterprise package – with about 2,000 jobs created by these SMEs in the Project’s two regions of implementation.
This year, she said, the GrEEn Project in partnership with the Ghana Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs launched a financial platform – the Young Entrepreneurs and Startups Support Fund – with a contribution of €250,000 from the GrEEn Project to provide affordable financing aid to SMEs and micro-businesses, especially in the sustainable and circular economy sector.
“Thank you for the work that the businesses and partners have and continue to undertake in supporting business development in Ghana,” she added.
Sadda Laouali, the Project Manager, in a brief remark noted that the project has been beneficial to several SMEs: “You exhibited great commitment and resilience throughout the Incubation Programme, and we are very proud of your progress.
“The enterprise or business development is a long pathway, and we are aware that a lot is yet to be done; but we remain confident and look forward to celebrating your success stories,” he said.
About the project
The European Union in Ghana-funded ‘Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) Project’ was implemented by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation in Ghana.
The GrEEn Incubation Programme was rolled out in the Project’s two regions of implementation, Ashanti and Western Regions, in partnership with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Ghana National Chamber of Commerce, Ghana Standards Authority, Food and Drugs Authority, Association of Ghana Industries and business hubs – including U-Hub of the University of Mines and Technology, Duapa Werkspace and the Social Entrepreneurship Hub over the past four years under Result 4 of the GrEEn Project’s areas of intervention, and has supported over 125 green MSMEs to grow and contribute to Ghana’s green and climate resilient local economy.