500 MSMEs benefit from GEA’s COVID-19 innovation scheme

BY: Maclean Kwofi
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Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh (left), CEO, GEA assisted by Mr John Duti (right), Team Lead, GIZ Ghana to assess products exhibited at the event.

With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic still unfolding rapidly globally, the Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA) would work assiduously to protect the Ghanaian SME sector from collapse as a result of the pandemic, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GEA, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, has said.

She made the pledge during the closing ceremony of the agency’s COVID-19 SME Innovation and Digitisation Support Scheme in Accra on October 15.

The GEA in partnership with the GIZ and KFW trained about 500 Ghanaian MSMEs training under the scheme which was sponsored by Invest for Jobs, Digital Transformation Centre Ghana and Special Initiatives on Training and Job Creation.

“It is exciting for us at GEA to be given this opportunity to work closely with GIZ to provide the needed support to the MSMEs in these trying times globally,” Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said.

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The scheme

Describing the scheme as “one of our most successful intervention”, the GEA CEO said the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the global economy meant that Ghanaians MSMEs needed to be innovatively proactive in order to remain sustainable without hitches.

She said the partnership between the GEA, GIZ and KFW to equip MSMEs in Ghana with the necessary digital knowhow aimed at navigating the torturous impact of COVID-19 was timely.

“It came at the time when the MSMEs were wondering how do we take advantage of this new normal? How do we start all over again? How do we sell our product using technology? How do we learn to strengthen our finances using technology? How do we strengthen and build relationships with our customers?

“Fortunately, this intervention came in time to provide the needed support and belief to build your businesses. As my team would tell me, this is the most practical training we have ever had. It is a training that has directly impacted your businesses,” Mrs Yankey-Ayeh stated.

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Business strengthened

The CEO said the scheme had strengthened a lot of MSMEs across the country to withstand the global financial shock resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has provided them access to e-commerce, software and tools that are building and strengthening their businesses, using zoom and other technology tools to be able to build their customer base,” she stated.

Mrs Yankey-Ayeh further stated that the partnership benefitted the GEA by helping it relook at the way it deals with MSMEs in the country, changing forever the type of intervention that the agency would bring to the sector going forward.

She expressed delight that the SMEs that participated in the scheme benefited greatly from it, saying: “we hope that we would continue to work together to build your businesses to the upscaling stage where you can create jobs and employment.”

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Second phase in the offing

The Cluster Coordinator in charge of Network for Inclusive Economic Development Cluster at GIZ Ghana, Mr Gerald Guskowski, said the training would ensure that Ghanaian SMEs were competitive in the global SME sector.

He noted that GIZ looks forward to organising a second phase of the scheme.