As part of measures to assist micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the MasterCard Foundation is set to announce a 90 million cedis fund with the National Board for Small Scale Industries, NBSSI.
The emergency fund will be given to MSMEs to save them from collapse.
Already, the government has announced a 1.2 billion cedis stimulus package out of which 600 million cedis will assist struggling MSMEs.
Speaking to Citi Business News on how the 90 million cedis from the MasterCard Foundation will be disbursed to MSMEs, the Director General of the NBSSI, Kosi Antwiwaa Yankey, said high growth sectors such as food and agriculture will benefit from the Fund.
“A lot of the MSMEs and businesses have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and so, in considering this, MasterCard Foundation and ourselves in this partnership, we decided that we are going to look at MSMEs that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It could be the food or agribusiness sector or the tourism sector.”
“…And you also have MSMEs that produce goods and services that support the fight against COVID-19 which is really crucial and important. And if you look around the world, a lot of MSMEs and a lot of countries are looking at how to boost and support MSMEs to produce more so that we can support in the fight. So, these are some of the sectors that we are looking at; especially the high growth sectors that will need our support to be able to grow and be made resilient when facing challenges such as this,” she said.
With the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus impacting hugely on many Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the country, the government is taking steps to support them as they are the backbone of the Ghanaian economy.
They represent about 85% of businesses, largely within the private sector, and contribute about 70% of Ghana’s gross domestic product (GDP). In terms of formal sector employment, they account for just over half of all fulltime employment, with the percentage likely much higher in the informal sector.