The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has signed a memorandum of understanding with four strategic organizations to help accelerate the growth of Ghanaian-owned micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs).
The MoU signed between NBSSI and Intelligent Capital, a private start-up development consortium; Ghana Tech Lab, a digital solutions provider; She Hub, a women-focused entrepreneurship centre; and the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), which provides networking support to businesses.
The agreement under the GH₵70 million NBSSI Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works initiative is to enable the respective organisations to bring their expertise to bear in improving the business and entrepreneurial skills of the women and the youth in the MSMEs sector.
The NBSSI Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works initiative aims to create 39,000 jobs within two years through effective collaboration with partners across the country.
Commenting on the partnership, the Executive Director of NBSSI, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh said the goal of the deal was to ensure the building of long-term sustainable businesses.
She said a key factor in the Mastercard Foundation involving the partners in the design of the project was to ensure sustainability, enhance capacity building and scaling up of the work in the future.
“I can say that within the first year, we have hit the target of majority of interventions. The goal now is to sustain and move it to the next level,” she said.
Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh said the programme was seeking to enhance the capacity of MSMEs in three areas of focus Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship, Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurship and MSME Business Acceleration.
She said all these were targeted at ensuring the creation of dignified and fulfilling jobs.
She said under the Young Africa Works project NBSSI envisaged that partnerships would help make the work easier and also achieve the overall goal.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh urged the partners to commit to the timelines in the delivery of the work to ensure that the goal of the project to enhance women and youth businesses were attained.
Ms Barbara Ghansah, National Project Coordinator NBSSI Young Africa Works, said the MoU signified the effective collaboration between the public and private sectors to deliver on entrepreneurship development to drive the growth of the economy.
Chief Executive officer of AGI, Seth Twum-Akwaboah, said the Association would bring to bear its expertise in business development to support the NBSSI to deliver on the goal of job creation and capacity building.
He said ensuring the growth of Ghanaian businesses was important to enable them to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
He urged MSMEs to enhance their capacity to become efficient and competitive to benefit from the AfCFTA.
Erica Adutwumwaa Kyere, Executive Director of She Hub, said the partnership with NBSSI provided an opportunity to reach out to more women to achieve the target of 70 per cent of women under the Young Africa Works initiative.