The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) partners Mastercard Foundation, to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and start-ups in Ghana during the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra signed by Mrs Kosi A. Yankey-Ayeh, NBSSI Executive Director NBSSI said through its Emergency Programme it had committed approximately GHC90 million from both partners to the initiative.
The Programme would provide financial assistance, in the form of grants and soft loans, via participating institutions such as banks, microfinance, mobile lenders, NGOs, and Business Development Services; to qualified micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, both formal and informal.
According to the statement, the amount and type of financial support provided would vary depending on the size of the enterprise, their need, and repayment capacity.
It said once participating institutions were on board, NBSSI would put out a call to MSMEs and start-ups to apply for funding via a centralized web-based platform.
“Information will also be made available via NBSSI’s 178 Business Advisory Centers and 37 Business Resource Centers across the country,” it said.
The programme tagged: NBSSI Mastercard Foundation Recovery and Resilience Programme for MSMEs is in line with the government’s support for Ghanaian MSMEs and would receive additional investment from other donors and institutions.
The statement said NBSSI through the initiative would support MSMEs and start-ups who needed support to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
Others include businesses in growth sectors, where the employment of young people, especially young women, would be negatively affected due to business operation disruptions, supply chain challenges, liquidity shortages, declining sales and profits, and business closures.
It said the Programme would also focus on Businesses providing services that would be in demand during the pandemic, which had the potential to grow and positively impact communities affected by COVID-19.
It said the Programme for MSMEs followed Mastercard Foundation’s recent announcement of its West, Central and Northern Regional office opening in Accra to drive its Young Africa Works strategy in the region.
The statement said the growth of MSMEs was at the heart of the work of NBSSI and based on that the MSME Emergency Programme was conceived and set-up.
It said it was the first of a series of interventions outlined to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on MSMEs.
The NBSSI said this was extremely vital for economic sustainability to support the MSMEs in these challenging times.
According to the statement, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, prioritizes supporting the contribution of MSMEs and the need to ensure their survival and growth to reboot the economy.
“This initiative will be enhanced to provide the platform for various partners to support all the interventions that will alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs, the backbone of our economy,” the statement said.
The statement quoted Madam Nathalie Akon Gabala, Regional Head for Western, Central and Northern Africa Mastercard Foundation, Ghana said MSMEs employed over 80 per cent of Ghana’s workforce and was needful to move quickly to support the engines of the Ghanaian economy.
“If MSMEs are going to weather the storm, and even thrive during these uncertain times, then proactive measures such as working capital, grants, and advisory services are essential to ensure they survive COVID-19’s ripple effect on business, productivity, revenues, and employment, “she said.