GHANA ENTERPRISE AGENCY

Economic Activities

Ghana Enterprises Agency is the apex governmental body dedicated to the promotion and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Ghana. With the passage of Act 1043 by Parliament and assented to by the President, His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2020, GEA is mandated to coordinate, implement and monitor the activities of the MSMEs Sector in Ghana.

 

GEA FIRST-QUARTER REPORT FOR 2024 – KEY ACHIEVEMENTS, CHALLENGES FACED, PROGRAMME AND PROJECT UPDATES AND OTHER PERTINENT INFORMATION

INTRODUCTION

The Ghana Enterprises Agency of the Ministry of Trade and Industry is responsible for promoting the growth and development of MSMEs in the country. This is done through the provision of business development services, through its head office in Accra, fifteen regional offices, and 224 district offices (Business Advisory Centres – BACs), as well as through its Business Resource Centres (BRCs). The agency does this via the implementation of various programmes, projects and initiatives, though other day-to-day services are also available. The agency also collaborates with local government, at regional and district levels, towards the effective discharge of its duties.

Within the Oti region, the agency has a regional secretariat, a total of six (6) business advisory centres, and two business resource centres, thus Kadjebi Business Resource Centre and Dambai Business Resource Centre.

The purpose of this report is to provide information on the activities of the agency, within the region, for the first quarter of 2024. This involves the provision of updates on running programmes and projects within the region, key achievements and challenges as well as   recommendations.

 

PROGRAMME AND PROJECT UPDATES

As stated, the Ghana Enterprises Agency runs projects and programmes, geared towards its stated aim of MSME growth and development. Those operational within the Oti Region, particularly within the first quarter of 2024, are as follows:

 

Ghana Enterprises Agency-Mastercard Foundation Business In A Box (BizBox) Project

The Ghana Enterprises Agency, in conjunction with the Mastercard Foundation, has kicked off the implementation of its Business In A Box (BizBox) Project. The aim of the project is to provide support to the youth, primarily young women, towards the creation and establishment of businesses, with a focus on agriculture, and inclusion of Persons with Disability (PWDs). The project has three main components:

  1. Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurship (A2E), which is geared towards equipping the youth to create and establish businesses, primarily in the technical and vocational sectors of industry.
  2. Agriculture to Agribusiness to Entrepreneurship (AA2E), which is geared towards the promotion of agriculture as a veritable business venture, towards the creation and establishment of agriculture-based businesses, and improved entrepreneurial activity within the sector.
  3. MSME Business Acceleration (MBA), which is geared at supporting established businesses owned or led by women, to help them scale various barriers to the development of their businesses, including market access.

The project also involves the training of Skilled Crafts Persons (SCPs), who then provide A2E and AA2E participants with apprenticeship-based training, to help them to learn their crafts, and, allied with business and entrepreneurship training from the project, to eventually establish their own businesses.

Within the past reporting quarter, the project was officially launched at the regional level. Sensitisation has also been done, at district and community levels, as well as per the regional launch, and applications have been received. The next step is the commencement of training activities under the various components, which involves the provision of entrepreneurial and sector-based technical skills training. Also included is support with market access, creation of youth social networks, provision of start-up kits, as well as strengthening of institutional, policy and regulatory framework, per the stated pillars of the project.

 

Ghana Economic Transformation Project

The Ghana Enterprises Agency, in conjunction with the World Bank Group, is currently running the Ghana Economic Transformation Project, which is geared towards the support of established Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) with business and entrepreneurship training, as well as with grants, towards their growth and development. The project has already seen implementation in prior phases; COVID-19 Response and Recovery Grants (Phases 1 and 2), SME Growth Grants (for general enterprise support), Women In Enterprise Programme (geared towards women) and Youth in MSME Development (geared towards youth).

Currently being implemented is the PWD Enterprise Support programme. This is aimed at supporting enterprises owned by Persons with Disability (PWDs), which employ a significant percentage of such persons, or whose activities are geared towards improving upon the statuses of such people (e.g. NGOs). Applications for the PWD Enterprise Support Programme are currently being accepted, with monitoring and evaluation, and close-out activities for prior phases being conducted.

 

Ghana Jobs And Skills Project

The Ghana Jobs and Skills Project, also being jointly-implemented by the Ghana Enterprises Agency and the World Bank Group, is geared towards training the youth in business and entrepreneurship, and supporting them to create and establish businesses. The project is also being implemented at district level, in all the sixteen (16) regions of Ghana. Targeted beneficiaries include Technical, Vocational and Educational Training (TVET) graduates, unemployed basic school, senior high and tertiary graduates, as well as other demographics of youth. Training is offered at basic, intermediate and advanced levels, to equip and stimulate the youth towards entrepreneurship. Persons who successfully complete and pass through, at least, intermediate-level training, could be eligible for grant support.

The first round of training activity took place within the second and third quarters of 2023, with disbursement of grants to eligible participants also taking place. Grant disbursements continued in the first quarter of 2024, with beneficiaries providing letters of acknowledgement of receipt to this effect. With the onset of a second round of training, for this calendar year, applications are again being requested, towards the further successful implementation of the project.

Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAPBuSS)

With the advent of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Government of Ghana, via its Ministry of Finance, provided financial support for Micro, Small-Scale and Medium-Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), to enable them withstand the adverse impacts of the pandemic, adapt, and work towards growing their enterprises. The grants were disbursed in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, at a 3% interest rate, with a two-year moratorium on repayments. This was done under two main modules; Adom loans, for loans for the informal sector, which were deemed forgivable; and Anidasuo, for the more formalised sector, which were deemed recoverable.

Loan recovery is being pursued, under the Anidasuo component, towards the creation of a revolving fund, for subsequent re-disbursement and utilisation by MSMEs.

 

Ghana Productive Safety Net Project (GPSNP), Phase 2

The Ghana Productive Safety Net Project provides tailored support to the poorest households in Ghana, to address the demand-side constraints to accessing services that would strengthen their productivity. It is currently underway, towards strengthening the country’s safety net systems, improving upon the productivity of the poor and vulnerable, including women and persons living with various forms of disability.

Within the past quarter, there was provision of business skills and income-generation training , provision of skills training  (primarily within the agricultural and artisanal sectors), at municipal and district levels, which including soap-making, soyabean cultivation, gari processing, rearing of guinea fowls, rearing of pigs, parboiling of rice, and vegetable farming. Training beneficiaries included persons being supported under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) Programme. There was also an orientation meeting on the modules of grant disbursement for the project.

 

The Gulf Of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion Project (SOCO Project)

The Gulf of Guinea Northern Regions Social Cohesion Project (SOCO Project) is aimed at improving the social and economic resilience of northern regions of countries along the Gulf of Guinea, including Ghana, towards the prevention of the spillover of conflicts from the northern, Sahelian countries. An implementation workshop was organised this past quarter, towards equipping implementing personnel to help successfully carry out the implementation of the project.

 

GEA/EDAIF Loan Scheme

The GEA-EDAIF loan scheme is geared towards supporting enterprises towards successful export activity. Activity within this past quarter has centred on the recovery of loans, towards possible re-disbursement and re-utilisation.

 

GEA-MCF COVID-19 Recovery And Resilience Programme (Nkosuo Loan Scheme)

The GEA-Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme (Nkosuo Loan Scheme) represents the agency’s collaboration, with the Mastercard Foundation, to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses.

Loan recovery activity has taken place within the past quarter, towards stated revolving fund, for further disbursement to businesses in need of funding.

 

Plan International Ghana Be Smart, Learn, And Stay Protected Project

The “Be Smart, Learn And Stay Protected Project”, by Plan International Ghana, is meant to equip and empower young adults, particularly adolescents, with skills and tools for income-generating activities, to reduce their vulnerability to sexual and gender-based violence.

Within the first quarter of 2024, a number of start-up kits were distributed to female youth entrepreneurs in the Guan district, to enable them provide for themselves and improve upon their livelihoods.

 

Rural Enterprises Programme (REP)

The GoG/IFAD/AfDB Rural Enterprises Programme, jointly-implemented by the Ministry Of Trade and Industry, International Fund for Agricultural Development and the African Development Bank, is geared towards the promotion of the growth of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs). Its aim is the alleviation of rural poverty and equipping of beneficiaries with the skills to provide for themselves and their families. It is being implemented in a total of 161 districts.

Activities within the past quarter include:

  1. Provision of business counselling and monitoring support.
  2. Provision of support with registration of businesses with the Office of the Registrar of Companies.
  3. Facilitation of the distribution of Rural Enterprise Development Fund (REDF) grants.

 

OTHER ACTIVITIES

Also undertaken within the quarter include formation and strengthening of Local Business Associations (LBOs), specifically the formation of a municipal representation of the Association of Small-Scale Industries (ASSI) for Nkwanta South, in addition to activities undertaken under the various programmes and projects.

 

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS

With respect to the stated activities, a number of gains have been chalked up during the past quarter. Through the activities of the agency, a total of two thousand, one hundred and fifty-seven (2157) business owners, comprising 837 men and 1,320 women, reported positive impacts on their business activities. Specifics are as follows:

  1. A total of seventeen new jobs were created, with one of these created by a man and sixteen by women.
  2. A total of fifteen businesses were established, with one established by a man and fourteen by women.
  3. A total of seventy-four businesses reported keeping records, with thirty-one of these owned by men and forty-three owned by women.
  4. Five businesses were reported to be transacting business outside their home districts, with three of these owned by men and two owned by women.
  5. A total of 1786 businesses were provided with access to relevant MSME information, with 680 of these owned by men and 1106 owned by women.
  6. A total of 113 businesses were recorded as operating bank accounts, with 57 of these owned by men and 56 owned by women.
  7. A total of 28 businesses were recorded as adopting good workshop safety and environmental management practices, with 10 owned by men and 18 owned by women.
  8. A total of 10 businesses were reported to have improved management practices, with eight owned by men and two owned by women.
  9. A total of fifty-four businesses were recorded as employing good customer relations, with twenty-five of these owned by men and twenty-nine of these owned by women.
  10. A total of twenty-five businesses were recorded as having accessed institutional credit, with 6 of these being owned by men and 19 owned by women.
  11. A total of ten woman-owned businesses were recorded as having access to institutional credit.
  12. A total of twenty (20) businesses were recorded has having adopted Occupational Safety, Health and Environmental Management (OSHEM) practices, with 15 of these owned by men and 5 by women.

 

CHALLENGES FACED

This notwithstanding, the agency encountered some challenges with the effective discharge of its duties. However, the agency did its utmost best to effectively carry out its duties, pending the resolution of said challenges. These include:

  1. Lack of adequate operational and training funding for the effective discharge of work duties.
  2. Lack of adequate office staff, at district and regional levels.
  3. Lack of functional working and mobility logistics – laptops, motorbikes, adequate office space, functioning pickup vehicles, and office equipment.

 

RECOMMENDATION

Recommendations made include the provision of adequate funding, requisite office staff (Mastercard District Coordinators, Administrative Assistants, and Business Development Officers), adequate office space, and functional pick-up trucks and motorbikes, for effective delivery of the agency’s work.

 

CONCLUSION

As has been detailed, the agency is actively working towards the growth and development of MSMEs in the region. It is hoped and expected that proper support – human resource, financial, logistical and otherwise is received, towards the effective growth and development of MSMEs in the region and cumulatively towards national development.

GHANA ENTERPRISE AGENCY

GHANA ENTERPRISE AGENCY

GHANA ENTERPRISE AGENCY

GHANA ENTERPRISE AGENCY

GHANA ENTERPRISE AGENCY

GHANA ENTERPRISE AGENCY

GHANA ENTERPRISE AGENCY

GHANA ENTERPRISE AGENCY

GHANA ENTERPRISE AGENCY

GHANA ENTERPRISE AGENCY