TradeAID Integrated, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in the Upper East region, has trained and supported eight young women entrepreneurs in the craft industry to enable them to properly plan and grow their own businesses.
The trainees, referred to as incubates, were taken through the process of business planning, costing and pricing, marketing among others for a period of three months under the NGO’s business incubation programme known as ‘I-Solve.’
With funding support from the French Development Agency and other French donors under the name “Equity Programme”, the incubates received sums of money, which ranged between GH¢1,800.00 to GH¢2,300.00 as start pack to enable them to start their own businesses.
Speaking to journalists after a brief graduation ceremony, Mr Nicholas Apokerah, the Executive Director of TradeAID Integrated, said each beneficiary received amounts based on their respective business plans.
“We expect that they too will contribute their own small amount to help grow whatever they have started. We are hoping that this becomes the face of TradeAID work. We are pushing hard to create employment and jobs,” Mr Apokerah said.
He said the beneficiaries were trained under the ‘I-Solve Business Incubation Hub,’ an initiative of TradeAID, to help address the issues of unemployment and poverty in the country.
Mr Apokerah said the ‘I-Solve business incubation hub’ had three broad pathways, which were Craft Skills Development, Agriculture and Agric-business Development and Digital Skills Development.
He said for now, “We are looking at Craft Skills Development, we know that the region is well endowed when it comes to craft. So, we are looking at supporting young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years who have excellent craft skills to help them grow their craft businesses.”
The Executive Director said the Agriculture and Agric-business incubation would begin in August 2022, adding that, “We will be doing a bigger project with Global Affairs – Canada, called the SHINE Project, which will kick start the Agriculture and Agric-business incubation pathway of the hub.”
He said the initiative would be replicated in districts across the region to complement government’s effort at creating employment in the country.
Madam Ursula Akurugu, a Mentor, advised the beneficiaries to invest the start-up capital judiciously into their respective businesses and ensure it yielded the desired results for them to expand their businesses to train and employ others.
She said they may face challenges, but urged them to push through any obstacles that may come their way, and focus on the goal to expand their businesses so that TradeAID Integrated would achieve the purpose of the project.
Madam Augustina Bengre, a beneficiary, thanked TradeAID Integrated on behalf of her colleagues for the training and start-up capital given to them and pledged that the capital would be put to judicious use.