The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) has disbursed some GH¢8.85 million to 120 small businesses that applied for a share of the GH¢145 million Ghana Economic Transformation Project (GETP) grant.
The beneficiaries, under the second tranche of the grant, were selected out of 21,000 applicants after meeting the rigorous criteria designed by the GEA, World Bank and other partners.
The second disbursement brings to GH¢22.65 million the total amount distributed to 332 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) under the GETP grant.
They are owners of small businesses into agro-processing, food and beverage, health care, and manufacturing industries across the country and are receiving between GHȼ10,000 and GHȼ20,000 grant to support their operational costs, including purchase of raw materials and equipment.
The disbursement is the new round of the stimulus package introduced by the government to cushion micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GEA, Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, at an orientation and signing agreement ceremony for the beneficiaries in Accra on December 1, stated that the grant awarded were to support the operational cost of the SMEs and may include salary payments, purchase of raw materials, equipment purchases, maintenance, installation and repair costs, fees and subscription, marketing expenses and payment for business development services.
“For today’s signing, a total of 120 beneficiaries were selected as the second batch of recipients of the grant. Total amount for these 120 successful businesses is GH¢8.85 million. I will take this opportunity to say congratulations to you all,” she said.
She said the GEA was optimistic that given the rigorous nature of the selection process, the beneficiaries were the most credit worthy and they would utilise the funds for the intended purposes to enable the country achieve the desired developmental objectives of the project.
“I wish to thank the Minister of Trade and Industry for his guidance, the World Bank for making the funds available and finally to congratulate all the beneficiaries,” she said.
The CEO noted that recent research by the World Bank also confirms this that the private sector finds it difficult to access credit in the country due to many reasons and this situation has even deteriorated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Even where some funds are available, the high cost makes it unattractive to the borrowers.
“As part of the efforts to address the low credit to the private sector, the government in collaboration with the World Bank under the Ghana Economic Transformation (GET) project launched a GH¢145 million grant to be disbursed to some 500 SMEs in Ghana who meet some specific criteria.
“The objective is to promote private investments and firm growth in non-resource-based sectors,” she said.
Mrs Kosi-Ayeh indicated that the SME grant was managed by the GEA through a Grant Committee instituted by the Minister of Trade and Industry.
She said by the end of the application deadline on August 11, 2021, over 21,000 businesses applied.
“These applications were representative of all the 16 regions in Ghana and were reviewed in accordance with the set guidelines for assessment of the Grant.
“It may be recalled that earlier this month a grant signing ceremony was organised for the first batch of beneficiaries made of a total of 212 beneficiaries.
“Total amount for these 212 successful businesses is GH¢13.8 million, I will take this opportunity to say congratulations to you all,” she added.