The National Entrepreneurship Innovation Programme (NEIP) and acceleration Hubs, under the Ghana Economic Transformation Programme (GETP) have signed a contract to enhance the capacity of entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The NEIP programmes fall under the component three of GETP’s entrepreneurship and SME growth in non-resource-based sectors and it is aimed at addressing the limited development of the SME support ecosystem including early stage financing to promote and strengthen a growth model that is conducive to economic transformation and achieve higher rates of investment.
This is part of a seven million dollar grant programme aimed at supporting the development of entrepreneurship hubs in the country to enable them reach international level.
The ceremony also witnessed the awards of grants to support selected Hubs to run programmes that would benefit firms and startups within the Ghanaian communities.
The Hubs will be supported to run programmes that will benefit firms and start-ups within selected communities across the country.
The Grassroots Hub located in the Ahafo region received a cheque for $180,000; Danys ISO in the Upper East received $150,000; Tech Farm in the Eastern Region also received $100,000 and Fab Hub received $100,000.
Speaking at the ceremony in Accra yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer of NEIP, Kofi Ofosu Nkansah, stated that Hubs Grant sub-component under Component 3 Programme, is to support the development of the entrepreneurship ecosystem by building the capacities of entrepreneurship hubs to bring the quality of their services up to international standards.
“The grant programme was competitively designed to select a number of hubs, which will be provided with technical assistance and capacity building to address gaps identified during the benchmarking exercise,” he disclosed
On the selection process Mr. Nkansah noted that his outfit received close to one hundred (100) applications when the portal was opened, after evaluating the applications and whittling them down to the first thirty (30) hubs, they undertook a due diligence visit to all the forty shortlisted hubs.
They further took stock of their capacities, programmes offered, and challenges faced, this was aside confirming information and picking up more data to aid in the due diligence effort.
According to Mr. Ofosu Nkansah, the Hubs Acceleration Grant Programme focused on hubs operating in the following sectors: Agriculture, Technology & Innovation, Light manufacturing & processing, waste & green businesses and technical and vocational oriented hubs.
“That will not be the end of the process, a period of monitoring and evaluation will commence where we will track key milestones and ensure compliance and use of funds for the intended purpose,” he added.
The Senior Private Sector Specialist, World Bank, Farrah Dib disclosed that her outfit has been working with Government of Ghana and NEIP over the last few years on the Ghana Economic Transformation Project, which is supporting the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country, among other initiatives.
She believed that entrepreneurship is a powerful pathway for growth and especially for Ghana’s vibrant youth to be productive, add value, and create opportunities for other young people.
“For entrepreneurs to thrive, it is important to have a thriving ecosystem that supports them both technically and financially”, Farrah Dip advised.