Netherlands provides EUR500,000 to 100 Ghanaian SMEs
The government of the Netherlands has made available an amount of EUR500,000 for some 100 Ghanaian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to grow and sustain their businesses.

Date Created : 7/13/2023 12:00:00 AM : Story Author : Francis Ntow/GNA

This comes after a six-month intensive capacity building and mentorship for the young entrepreneurs, who were Cohort Seven of the Netherlands Orange Corners programme.

Mr. Jeroen Verheul, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, explained that the move was to provide the SMEs with the needed financial resources to scale up their businesses and be resilient in the face of challenges.

He said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra at a short graduation ceremony for Cohort Seven, which also marked the launch of Cohort Eight of the programme.

Mr. Verheul said that the funding-support would target women and youth-led SMES in Ghana’s horticulture and cocoa sectors, which his country was much interested in as they were linked to development goals.

“In financial terms, we provide them with access to the Orange Corner Innovation Fund, by pitching their business plans and we provide them with the funding, which now is about half a billion,” he said.

He also said that there had been an addition of a digital session to the programme, a strategic action to address the inherent limitations of the traditional way of training for scalability and reach a broader audience.

Mr. Richard Yeboah, the Regional Director of Management for Development Foundation (MDF) Africa, said the programme was also to enable the beneficiary SMEs generate decent jobs for people.

He said that since the start of the Orange Corners programme in 2019 with some 30 companies, the number had increased to more than 600 of which 43 per cent were women-owned SMEs.

That was to support women-owned and other SMEs to become formalised, by helping them to structure and streamline their businesses to meet the demands of banks and other financial institutions in accessing finance.

“The network and partners we have make it easy for many of these SMEs to meet people and financial institutions that can support them, including those operating in the green economy sector, which we link the SMEs to,” he said.

Currently, the Orange Corners, which stimulates the entrepreneurial mindset of young people, is being implemented in Accra, Kumasi, Tamale, and Ho.

It offers incubation, access to finance, education and training, as well as policies and measures to address business challenges, with a strong involvement of the Embassies or Consulates of Netherlands and private sector partners.