THE Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) is set for a new round of stimulus package to support high-growth potential small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to accelerate their growth in the country.
It intends to invest GH¢160 million in the form of a grant to help SMEs transition into the next stage of growth by improving their ability to increase sales and exports to the international market.
The new grant involves technical assistance to up to 2,000 SMEs on business management capabilities and productivity-enhancing improvement.
Dubbed: SME Growth Grant Programme, the initiative is part of the third intervention under the Ghana Economic Transformation Project (GETP).
It is targeting small enterprises employing between six and 30 people or with an annual sale of between GH¢180,000 and GH¢7 million, as well as medium firms with employees between 31 and 100 or sales of between GH¢7.2 million and GH¢21.6 million per year.
An application portal will be open between January 11 and February 22, this year to enable businesses to seek the opportunity to benefit from the financial support.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GEA, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, at the launch of the new grant in Accra on January 11, said the new funding support was meant for only SMEs and not micro or large/corporate firms.
She said the new grant programme was purposely designed to build on and consolidate the successes chalked up with the previous interventions.
She said it was also established to provide training and capacity building necessary to lead to operational efficiency of the enterprises, boost their competitiveness and scale-up their operations for further job creation.
She noted that through the initiative, the GEA and its partners intended to provide SMEs with all the relevant tools in business development, including the digital marketing tools necessary to enable them to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“The programme is very relevant to the vision of the government to optimise the potential of SMEs to enable them to contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of the national economy and poverty reduction.
“I am happy that, together with our development partner, the World Bank, through the GETP, we can deliver this support to our SMEs,” she added.
A Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Nana Ama Dokua Asiamah-Adjei, noted that the government was committed to fully implementing all initiatives under the GETP, including the grant programme, for the full benefit of SMEs across the country.
She said from the policy point of view, the Ministry of Trade and Industry would do the needful, just as the GEA would undertake the direct implementation of the GETP, in line with the government’s priority to support achieving economic transformation.
“Ghana at large and the citizenry will benefit most through jobs and wealth creation, foreign exchange earned from value-added exports and much more,” she said.
She urged all beneficiaries to use the grant received for the intended purposes.
Strong SME sector
The Manager in charge of Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation at the World Bank, Mehnaz Safavian, said a strong SME sector was important for the growth of every economy, advanced or developing.
She said it was for that reason that the World Bank was providing funding support for the government for the implementation of the GETP.