The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH , have signed a Memorandum of Understanding of 1.5 million Euros to support Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.
The grant agreement, ‘COVID-19 SME Innovation and Digitalization Support Scheme,’ is expected to provide Ghanaian SMEs with digital solutions as a strategy to adapt to emerging market demands brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 SME Innovation and Digitalization Support Scheme seeks to support SMEs to make full use of digitalization, to manage their business operations more efficiently, to become more responsive to clients’ needs, to better organize their business information, to have more efficient record keeping and financial management processes in place, thereby facilitating their access to finance and much more.
Head of the Network for Inclusive Economic Development (NIED) Cluster at GIZ-Ghana, Gerald Guskowski believed this support has the ability to support a number of MSMEs digitalize.
“The cost involved indeed cannot be borne by most of these the MSMEs, the support scheme is therefore timely. Under this COVID-19 support scheme, an amount of 1.5 million Euros will be invested to support the digitalization of up to 500 growth-oriented SMEs, which will in turn help sustain at least 1600 jobs; we want to keep these businesses alive and strengthen their resilience during COVID-19, thereby sustaining jobs”
A third partner, the Digital Transformation Centre, also managed by GIZ Ghana, will be responsible for supporting this project with technical expertise to implement digital solutions.
According to Executive Director of the NBSSI, Kosi Yankey- Ayeh, the MoU which is under the theme “Innovation and Digitization of MSMEs” is in line with Government’s plans to formalize the MSMEs sector.
“It is for these reasons that the National Board for Small Scale Industries(NBSSI) takes delight in this partnership and also ascribes a lot of importance to this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under the theme ‘Innovation and Digitization of MSMEs.’ It is in line with the objective of the Government of Ghana and the NBSSI to ensure that most of the MSMEs in Ghana get formalized. That will help Government and the Board to direct support to MSMEs, tailor training meet the need gaps of the MSMEs, and connect businesses to bigger markets,” she said
Madam Yankey-Ayeh added that, with the conversion of the NBSSI into an agency, it is better positioned to implement the tasks of MSMEs formalization.
“As NBSSI transitions to the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) in few weeks, this MoU could not have come at a better time. The new Agency will make the formalization and digitization drives a very important part of our agenda,” she added.
NBSSI is the main governmental body under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, mandated to strengthen, grow, and develop micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)in Ghana. NBSSI has the largest footprint of any agency or organization in Ghana in its work with entrepreneurs and women-led MSME development. It has a presence in the 16 regions and operates in 185 districts across Ghana.