More than 250 businesses in the three northern regions have been provided with financial support under the Presidential Business Support Programme (PBSP).
The beneficiary businesses were competitively selected through the recommendations of the Private Incubation Hubs in a transparent, efficient and equitable manner.
The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, announced this in Tamale last Friday when he was assisted by corporate, business and religious leaders to present cheques for various amounts ranging between GH¢10,000 and GH¢100,000 to some entrepreneurs whose businesses had successfully gone through the rigorous selection process.
The selection of the businesses from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions was undertaken by the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) which is under the Ministry of Business Development.
The Presidential Business Support Programme is designed to provide funding, technical support, training, mentorship and business advisory services for Ghanaian start-ups, as well as small and medium-size businesses which constitute over 80 per cent of businesses in the country.
The businesses selected for funding cover many sectors of the economy, including agri-business and agro-processing, smock weaving, Information and Communications Technology, animal and livestock rearing, health, food and beverages, fashion (clothing & accessories) and beauty.
Speaking after the presentation of the cheques to the beneficiaries, Dr Bawumia said the handing over of the cheques was yet another sign of the government’s commitment to support the growth of Ghanaian businesses, particularly start-ups, with about $100 million that had been committed to supporting entrepreneurial activities in the country, particularly those led by women entrepreneurs.
“Today marks a very important and exciting milestone in the life of our dear country. We have gathered here to celebrate and award financial support to the young men and women who have braved the odds to venture into the world of entrepreneurship,” he stated
The Vice-President stressed that through the Ministry for Business Development, the government had made it a priority to create a favourable atmosphere for the private sector, including start-ups, to flourish.
“In addition, we are working on the fundamentals of the economy to stimulate the needed investments for significant expansion and growth of the national economy and the generation of wealth and jobs,” he stated.
He reiterated the government’s vision and primary objective of building the most entrepreneurial, business-friendly economy in Africa to create jobs and prosperity for all Ghanaians.
“This vision is clearly articulated in the Coordinated Programme of Economic and Social Policies (2017-2024) of His Excellency the President. The government strongly believes that the private sector is a key partner and the main driver of our economic development agenda and we are, therefore, committed to the development of a thriving private sector in the country,” he said.
Dr Bawumia urged the beneficiaries to justify their selection by reaching beyond the shores of Ghana.
“Entrepreneurship is not an easy journey and so be courageous, take bold steps to build your businesses and be competitive,” he urged them.
He said there were potential markets in neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger which they could target.
Dr Bawumia also urged the firms to pay attention to product design and differentiation, packaging and marketing, so that their products would meet both local requirements and global standards.
The Minister of Business Development, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, expressed delight at the success of the programme so far and urged the beneficiaries to work hard and create more opportunities and jobs for others.