GIZ, a German organization, has supported 410 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises in the Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo Regions with startup equipment worth over one million Ghana cedis.
Some of the items that the entrepreneurs received include dehydrators, hair dryers, ovens with pressure tubes and regulators, digital cameras, oil filling machines, tea making machines, tom brown making machines, heat transfer machines, grating machines, soap making and cutting machines, motor spraying machines, and industrial sewing machines.
The awardees participated in a Business Idea Competition and the Adwumaye Short-term skills training last year.
Speaking at the handing over of the equipment to the beneficiaries, Christian Jahn, Head of Programme for Private and Financial Sectors at GIZ in Ghana, said his organization will continue to improve livelihoods through skill training in the country.
“GIZ is dedicated to improving livelihoods through the implementation of programs that build capacities and skills. In Ghana, micro, small, and medium enterprises like yourselves contribute to about 80% of all employment in the country, and this is commendable,” Mr. Jahn said.
He further mentioned that many skilled individuals have been trained since 2017.
“Since the inception of the Perspektive Heimat program in 2017, also known as the Returning to New Opportunities program, we have supported approximately 10,000 business startups, and about 5,400 of this number, including 50 percent women, have moved on to become self-employed and are now generating income from the support received.”
The Bono Regional Minister, Justina Owusu-Banahene, who spoke at the program, urged the beneficiaries of the equipment to make good use of what they have received and also emphasized the importance of good customer care.
“As entrepreneurs, one thing that will help your enterprise grow is having good customer care. Know how to relate well with your customers. Apart from this, use some of the products you produce for people to see. I believe this will encourage others to patronize whatever you are into,” she indicated.
Madam Grace Bennette, a businesswoman who chaired the program, commended GIZ for the support. She noted that the government alone cannot create all employment opportunities for the unemployed youth in the country, and such interventions will go a long way to help reduce unemployment.
“It is obvious that the government alone cannot provide jobs for young people in this country, especially in this era where the country has a huge youth bulge. Self-employment is, therefore, the reliable answer to this youth unemployment,” she noted.
Olivia Yaa Dogli, the CEO of Oliwalks Enterprise, who received a cornmill, mentioned in an interview that the cornmill will go a long way to help her mill cereals for her tom brown production.