The Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) Ghana, has launched the Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities (GrEEn) Innovation challenge aimed at creating and supporting green businesses for the youth.
The GrEEn project has an European Union (EU) support of €20 million with co-funding of €60,000 from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the United Nations Capital Development Funds (UNCDF).
The initiative will award eight Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) with a grant of €25,000 through a competitive process for commercially viable businesses and with environmental and social impact potentials.
Speaking at the launch, Madam Susana Martins, Cooperation and Communications Officer at the European Commission in Accra, was happy with the roll out of the initiative that would open opportunities related to green innovative products and services in the areas of agriculture, renewable energy and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
“We, at the European Union, believe that by funding SMEs and businesses in the circular economy, we nurture invention and innovation that makes use of waste and safeguards the environment. We also create jobs for the youth,” she said.
Additionally, Madam Martins revealed that the EU would organise several initiatives that intend to promote a more sustainable and circular economy.
Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Enterprise Agency, in a speech read on her behalf, said they were delighted to be partners of the programme and remained committed to supporting initiatives that would benefit entrepreneurs and businesses.
“It is refreshing to note that the GrEEn Innovation Challenge, which is being launched today will provide a matching grant fund to support green business. This we believe, will build on the progress made in our current partnerships, boosting green business and growth among entrepreneurs particularly women and youth.
“The GrEEn Innovation Challenge fund will not only encourage entrepreneurs and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to develop and improve green products and services to make them more competitive but will also ensure the improvement of our environment’s wellbeing and sustainability,” she said.