350 MSMEs to benefit from GH¢145 million grant
About 350 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are expected to benefit GH¢145 million through the newly established Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA).
The money would be made available to these companies to support their growth into sustainable businesses and position them to compete globally.
The Agency replaces the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), which has assisted Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) through different interventions in more than three decades.
On Wednesday, June 9, the Agency was launched in Accra, together with the MSMEs and Entrepreneurship Policy and the GEA Grant Support for MSMEs.
The Act establishing the Agency makes GEA a body to co-ordinate and promote the growth of MSMEs and lead the path in creating a dynamic ecosystem and entrepreneurial community to help propel Ghana’s growth.
The MSME sector employs more than 80% of the country’s workforce. It generates about 70% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), making it a pillar in the country’s transformative agenda from a production led-economy to an industrialised one.
Speaking at the programme, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said, “The policy direction is to reduce, if not eliminate, the duplication of efforts currently being witnessed in the MSME sector.
It is also to ensure the judicious use of resources, implement programmes to formalize and support the informal sector, and design interventions to support MSMEs in the country.
The President remarked, “The GEA SME Grant Fund has been established to support SMEs to recover from the effects of COVID-19, and also help them to resuscitate their operations under the Ghana Economic Transformation Project.”
The acting Chief Executive Officer of GEA, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, said, “The new GEA is ready to take up the mantle.”
According to her, the transformation of NBSSI to GEA was not just a change in name and ethos but also “A change in how we do our work and what we have to offer Ghanaians.”
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh indicated that the establishment would allow the government to provide oversight responsibilities of all operations of MSMEs in the country.
The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), Mr Alan Kyerematen, said the Agency would leverage technology to manage and disburse grants to MSMEs nationwide.
This, he said, would enable GEA to fast-track and consolidate service provision to business promoters and their projects across the country.
Mr Kyerematen said this would also augment the government’s initiatives aimed at inclusive and decentralised industrial and agricultural growth, including the One District One Factory (1D1F) and the Planting for Export and Jobs initiative.
The Ghana Enterprises Agency
The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) is a government agency established under the Ministry of Trade and Industry through the GEA Act, 2020 (Act 1043).
The new organisation has come into being with an expanded physical branch network made up of 67 Business Resource Centers (BRCs) and 191 Business Advisory Centers (BACs) located in 258 Districts across the country.
The Agency would promote, implement policies, and establish a service delivery network for the MSME sector to thrive.
It would also facilitate the access by MSMEs to financial and non-financial resources, including credit facilities.
Meanwhile, the Director of Business Banking at Absa Bank Ghana, Grace Anim-Yeboah, has advised Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to formalise their operations.
According to her, this would enable them to secure credit facilities for their operations, noting that MSMEs with formal structures often stood a greater chance of securing funding.