Ambassador Irchad Ramiandrasoa Razaaly
Twelve (12) green businesses and entrepreneurs from the Ashanti and Western regions of Ghana have received a combined matching grant of GHS 1,170,000 under the 2021 GrEEn Innovation Challenge.
The GrEEn Innovation Challenge is part of the Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) project, a four-year action primarily funded by the European Union, together with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), since 2019.
The GrEEn Project is aimed at supporting green businesses who have innovative products and services in SNV’s three sectors; agriculture, renewable energy and energy efficiency and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
It is also to create sustainable jobs for youth, women and returning migrants, as well as supporting green businesses and entrepreneurs who want to transition into the green or circular economy.
The GrEEn Innovation Challenge, which was kick started by SNV Ghana in July 2021, is a yearly competition aimed at scaling up innovative green ideas and businesses to create sustainable jobs.
The Head of the European Union Delegation to Ghana, Ambassador Irchad Ramiandrasoa Razaaly said climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and natural resources shortage are major global challenges.
“These are shared priorities for EU and Ghana. Addressing them is a necessity! It also offers a wide range of new business opportunities to young Ghanaian entrepreneurs partnering with the EU on promoting sustainable development,” he added.
Country Director of SNV Ghana, Anjo van Toorn also added, “The Innovation Challenge is a great incentive and support to young entrepreneurs, especially women entrepreneurs, to transform their dreams and ideas into viable green businesses that contribute to a local circular economy in Ghana,”
He said the project addresses two big issues in Ghana which are youth unemployment and climate crisis.
In a related activity in November 2021, the GrEEn project also awarded a matching grant of GHS 418,857 to 21 green businesses from the Ashanti and Western regions who had completed SNV’s Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) Programme under the GrEEn Business Plan Competition.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri