A total of 15 green businesses that have graduated, or are currently enrolled in the 6-month GrEEn Incubation and GrEEn Acceleration Programmes of SNV Ghana, will be awarded up to €25,000.
The businesses are required to provide business advisory support for start-ups to help them scale-up and mature existing businesses to help them be investment-ready.
The Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) project is a four-year action from the European Union, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).
The project aims at creating greater economic and employment opportunities for youth, women and returning migrants by promoting and supporting sustainable, green businesses in two selected regions of Ghana: Ashanti and Western Regions.
GrEEn is implemented under the European Union Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa with a total contribution of €20.6million. Under this, SNV Ghana is dedicated to assisting entrepreneurs and businesses in Ghana’s circular economy promote sustainable jobs and development.
To support green businesses which have innovative products and services in SNV’s three sectors – agriculture, renewable energy and energy efficiency – and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in the Ashanti and Western Regions of Ghana, SNV launched the GrEEn Innovation Challenge in June 2021.
It was to award a matching grant of up to €25,000 each to selected businesses in Ghana’s green sector that are located in the Ashanti or Western Regions of Ghana.
The second edition of SNV Ghana’s ‘GrEEn Innovation Challenge’ is funded by the European Union, and is being held this year under the theme ‘Promoting Job Creation through Green Innovation’.
The programme has been launched in Kumasi and Takoradi, and provides support for growing SMEs in the Ashanti and Western Regions.
The free 6-month training programme provides services such as supporting SMEs to build businesses which have proper management systems, operate eco-inclusive business models that offer environmental and social benefits to their communities, and are compliant with regulations.
Start-ups are also supported to fine-tune their business modules and re-align their business models to make them sustainable and climate-resilient.
Speaking at the programme’s launch, the Senior Incubation and Acceleration Advisor of SNV Ghana, Genevieve Parker-Twum, explained that the programmes target businesses operated by youth, women and returning migrants between the ages of 18 to 35 years.
Genevieve Parker-Twum urged beneficiaries to use the grant for its intended purpose, noting that SNV will continue to visit them regularly and monitor their business activities as implementors of the programme.
The Ashanti Regional Director-Ministry of Trade and Industry, Osman Mamuda, also speaking at the event lauded the initiative – especially given that it complements government’s efforts in creating sustainable employment opportunities for youth, particularly women.
The Ministry of Trade, he assured, is ready to partner with SNV in rendering continuous support to SMEs in the green sector.
In December 2021, a total of 12 businesses including 6 businesses in the Ashanti Region, 5 in the Western Region and 1 in the Greater Accra Region received a total matching grant of GH₵1.17million under the maiden GrEEn Innovation Challenge.