125 Young entrepreneurs in Asutifi North schooled
A total of 125 young entrepreneurs from the Asutifi North District in the Ahafo Region have been schooled on financial packages and other opportunities available for smallholder businesses.Subscribe
Organised by ActionAid Ghana, the financial package engagement with the young entrepreneurs, sought to help them access loans to invest in their businesses and also increase their knowledge of how to sustain and expand their businesses.
The engagement was facilitated by the Asutifi Rural Bank Limited and Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA) and sponsored by Medicor Foundation -UK.
It provided the entrepreneurs with a platform to engage with the financial institution on their packages, products and requirements needed to access financial support to expand their businesses.
ActionAid Ghana in 2018 implemented a project dubbed: "Promoting Employment Opportunities for the Young People in Ghana (PEOY)" during which the beneficiaries were trained and equipped with start-up tools and equipment to start their own businesses.
The project was aimed at the reduction of unemployment among the youth, through artisanal skills training to provide them with decent jobs and contribute to the improvement of the local economy.
The beneficiaries, who were drawn from five deprived communities namely; Gambia No1, Kenyasi No 3, Koforidua, Obengkrom and Kojokrom were trained in tiling, auto mechanics, soap making, bead work and pastries.
Speaking to journalists at Abesim near Sunyani in the Bono Region, the Bono and Ahafo Regional Programme Manager of Actionaid Ghana, Kwame Afram Denkyira, said the organisation rolled out the project to reduce unemployment, social vices, improve local economy in the project implemented communities and provide them decent jobs.
He explained that ActionAid Ghana organised the engagement meeting to establish a linkage between the beneficiaries and the financial institution for easy access to financial support.
Mr Denkyira said the engagement would help strengthen the relationship between the artisans and the Asutifi Rural Bank, and encouraged the beneficiary entrepreneurs to cultivate the habit of saving, in order to help them approach the bank for financial support when the need arose.
He explained that already ActionAid had grouped and supported the artisans to set up Village Savings and Loan Associations.
The Kenyasi Branch Manager of the Asutifi Rural Bank Limited, Emmanuel Karikari, urged the beneficiaries to open business savings accounts with the bank, to help them to raise capital and be qualified for loans.
He explained that businesses thrived on capital, saying, "Once you start a business and you don't have capital, it will be difficult to grow the business."
Mr Karikari said it was not wrong to acquire loans from a bank to pump into a business, explaining that investing more into a business would help expand and sustain its operations.
He said processes leading to granting of loans at the Asutifi Rural Bank were flexible, adding that the bank had good loan packages for businesses, including starters.
The Bono East and Ahafo Regional Director of the GEA, Kwasi Abayie Acheampong, urged entrepreneurs, especially starters, to seek information from the Business Advisory Centres (BACs) to help improve their businesses.
He said there were more than 220 BACs across the country, assisting businesses to improve their production and packages to attract customers, among others.