The Department for International Development (DfID) has provided £4.1 million to support the growth of Micro- and Small Enterprises (MSEs) in Ghana.
The grant, being facilitated by TechnoServe Incorporated, a non-governmental organisation, is expected to benefit about 1,000 MSEs within a period of four-and-half years.
TechnoServe Incorporated will implement this through its programme dubbed ‘Enhancing Growth in New Enterprises (ENGINE) to help grow and build competitive businesses in the country.
Speaking at the launch in Accra, the Deputy Country Director of TechnoServe, Mr Samuel Baba Adongo, said four programmes within ENGINE would be rolled out in the country this year.
Out of the four, he explained that one was rolled out as a pilot phase in February with 66 participants, while the three others would be implemented in May and November this year.
“The aim of ENGINE is to create at least 1,700 new jobs by the end of 2018 to help minimise the unemployment rate in the country,” he emphasised.
Mr Adongo indicated that the 66 participants were selected out of 150 entrepreneurs and companies through vigorous interviews before a selection process was arrived at, adding that each was made to produce a comprehensive business plan.
“As part of the programme, a comprehensive tracking system has been put in place to determine the success rate of the beneficiaries,” he said.
DFID Country Director
The Country Director of DFID Ghana, Ms Sally Taylor, said the UK government recognised that small businesses were avenues to create jobs and contribute to Ghana’s economic growth.
“We are pleased to support this initiative as part of our programme with the expectation that by 2015 through this and other programmes, DFID will assist 50,000 entrepreneurs and farmers to access the support they need to grow their businesses and increase their incomes,” she said.
The Minister of State in charge of Public-Private Partnerships, Mr Rashid Pelpuo, reiterated the government’s commitment to facilitate the growth of small and medium-scale enterprises.
He reckoned that the private sector was the engine of the economy, adding that, “the government has put in place friendly private policies to favour the private sector.”
Mr Pelpuo stressed that entrepreneurs must take advantage of the challenges the economy was facing and come up with pragmatic solutions, adding that, “entrepreneurs must strive to overcome the challenges in the economy.”