The government of Ghana is expected to start the disbursement of some loans to 1,000 youth-led ventures by the end of July through the National Entrepreneurship Innovation Plan (NEIP), in what is a move to scale up the competitive power of Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises.
The intended beneficiaries of this initiative are expected to be between the ages of 18 and 45 years, and will each be receiving nearly USD 21 K at a 10 percent interest rate over a two-year period.
As said by the Business Development Minister, Dr. Mohammed Awal, the lower than the usual market rate of interest loans which is worth over USD 208 K, forms part of the government’s move to cultivate an enabling environment for young entrepreneurs. He said they “Are creating a favorable environment for entrepreneurs to thrive, and that’s the reason the government has devoted USD 10 Mn to assist youth-led business programs”.
Dr. Awal told the press that the beneficiaries of this loan scheme, who have been selected from all regions in Ghana, had already gone through training on business development and have been armed with the relevant skills that will make the investment a true turn-around. “We have already trained 7,000 young entrepreneurs across Ghana this year”, he said. “And out of the 7,000, we are giving support to 100 for the first leg of the funding”.
According to Dr. Awal, the government isn’t just providing them with the funds, but will also plug fuses ensure to that they are mentored and held together over the next two years, after which they will pay back the interest and the principal over the period of five years”.
Just last month, a young entrepreneur known as Vanessa Aisha bagged a take-home price of over USD 25 K donation and nearly USD 10.5 K prize under the auspices of the Presidential Pitch Competition which was organized by the Ministry of Business Development to involve more than 2,000 startups. The donation was given by the President of Ghana himself, as a symbol of his government’s devotion to Ghanaian entrepreneurship development. The second and third runners-up of the pitch competition received USD 9379 K and USD 8337 K, respectively.
“In Ghana’s setting, starting a business requires an initial capital, no matter how good your idea is. Funding is nonexistent here, and for the government to assist with loans to the businesses that have been screened, is a very great and welcomed move, as it will help vamp up the economy and create more jobs”. This was the remark of the Chief Executive Office of Ghana CEO Summit, Mr. Ernest De-Graft Egyir while speaking on the sidelines of the impact the funding has on the Ghanaian business industry.