Some fifteen Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) within the Western and Ashanti Regions are being targeted as this year’s Green Employment and Enterprise (GrEEN) Innovation Challenge kicks off.
The second edition of the project which was launched in Kumasi on Tuesday (August 30) is expected to expand winning businesses with a matching grant of up to 25,000 euros.
The grant is part of a programme to create greater economic and employment opportunities for the youth in Ghana, especially those who have graduated or are currently enrolled in its six-month GrEEn Incubation and GrEEn Acceleration Programmes.
The project, which is being funded by the European Union also provides business advisory support services to start-up businesses.
Speaking at the launch, Senior Incubation and Acceleration Manager at SNV’s GrEEn Project, Madam Genevieve Parker-Twum, said winners of the challenge will benefit from technical and operational skills that would help them to develop operational excellence and be investment ready.
Madam Parker-Twum explained that the free-six months training programme would provide services such as supporting SMEs to build businesses that had proper management systems and operated eco-inclusive business models that offered environmental and social benefits to their communities.
Start-ups would also be supported to fine-tune business modules and re-align models to make them sustainable and climate resilient.
According to Madam Parker-Twum, the GrEEn Incubation and Acceleration Programmes targeted businesses operated by youth, especially women and returning migrants between ages 18-35 in agriculture, renewable energy and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sectors.
Mr Mamuda Osman, the Ashanti Regional Director, Ministry of Trade and Industry, pledged the Region’s readiness to partner with SNV Ghana to render support to SMEs in the GrEEn sector.
He urged Ghanaians, especially businesses to be innovative to generate useful products from waste, adding that, as a country, people could create wealth and employment from the millions of tonnes of waste created annually.
The GrEEn project is a four-year action from the European Union, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, SNV Netherlands Development Organization and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).
This year’s project is under the theme: “Promoting Job Creation Through Green Innovation”.