Sixty Ghanaian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across the country are set to participate in the SME Grant Scheme for Job Creation, a project supported by Invest for Jobs, an initiative of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented by the Association of Ghana Industries.
The objective of the Grant Scheme is to provide a comprehensive demand-based support package to 60 growth-oriented SMEs in the manufacturing sector to enhance their productivity, efficiency, competitiveness, innovation and job creation.
SMEs under the project, receive technical training as well as financial assistance for the procurement of critical machinery, tools, and equipment needed for the core operations of their businesses.
According to the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), the manufacturing sector is the fourth largest sector of the Ghanaian economy and represents about 92% of establishments in Ghana’s industry sector.
Manufacturing also contributed GHC19,195 million to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) representing 10.44% of GDP in 2019 and remains one of the major sources of employment for the nations’ workforce accounting for 18.6% of total employment.
The project was officially inaugurated during the opening session of the first of a series of 3-day training workshops under the Scheme held in Accra. The SMEs during the workshop would receive training in supply chain management and financial management. The workshop would also serve as an opportunity for peer learning among the SMEs.
During the event, the Team Leader of Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation (Invest for Jobs), John Duti, explained that “one of the key objectives of Invest for Jobs is to enhance the productivity and job-creation capacities of Ghanaian SMEs, through the implementation of demand-driven support measures.”
Mr. Duti added that “we are therefore very excited to partner with the AGI, one of the largest member-based organisations, whose support to the development of the industrial sector over the years cannot be underestimated, in putting together this project to promote the full potential of these SMEs particularly in the area of job creation. By the end of 2022, we expect to create at least 120 jobs through this project.”
On his part, the CEO of the AGI, Mr. Seth Twum-Akwaboah welcomed the intervention by the GIZ as timely and urged the beneficiary SMEs to take full advantage for the benefit of their various businesses. He stressed that the AGI shall continue to work with GIZ to extend the intervention based on the successes to be chalked with the current project.
Some SMEs expressed their optimism that the combination of technical and financial support go a long way to boost their productivity, efficiency, and competitiveness. The remaining workshops would be held in three other zones namely Kumasi, Sunyani and Tamale within the next four weeks.
The Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation – operating under the brand Invest for Jobs, is funded by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, among others.