Home General News Kumasi – MTN Foundation invests in 27 Indigenous Enterprises.

Kumasi – MTN Foundation invests in 27 Indigenous Enterprises.

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MTN Foundation has offered financial support to some twenty seven (27) indigenous entrepreneurs in Kumasi as part of initiatives to improve lives and livelihoods under its flagship Economic Empowerment Project.

With an investment of a million and three hundred Cedis; a hundred and forty SMEs are benefitting between five thousand and ten thousand cedis as direct transfers to expand their businesses.

The intervention comes at a time Micro, Small and Medium Size Enterprises in Ghana remained largely informal and without structured business management practices making it extremely difficult for players to access funds to grow their businesses.

Suffocating Interest rates, has also fizzled out the MSME sector which contributes more than 70% of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs some 80% of the country’s workforce.

The five year MTN Livelihood Empowerment PROJECT seeks to bridge both gaps providing training and financial support for these businesses with specific focus on Women, youth and persons with disability, otherwise differently enabled.

Speaking to Ultimate News after passing out a cohort of beneficiaries in Kumasi, Economic Empowerment Advisor Cynthia Mills pointed out that entrepreneurs are expected to scale up their ventures, increase turn over and ultimately create more jobs.

“We trust this will enhance their businesses and have that replica effect of creating jobs and bolstering the economy. My advice and that of MTN management is that they should put the money to good use.” Cynthia Mill noted.

She indicated that the timing was strategic as the entrepreneurs could rump up their capacity to cash in on the Christmas period which traditionally comes with increased demand for goods and services.

Selection and Training

The twenty seven entrepreneurs chosen from the Ashanti Region, form part of a hundred and forty (140) selected from the Ashanti, greater Accra and Western Regions.

An independent jury went through droves of applications looking out for entrepreneurs with healthy books, verifiable business registrations; proof of production, prospects for growth and demonstrable need for support.

Innohub Foundation, A Business accelerator; investments and Management Consultant hub which partnered MTN Foundation took the beneficiaries through an intense training to build their capacities to better manage the funds.

The intensive course included strands in Business development; Financial Management, Market research; Social Media Marketing, Credit Management, Customer Care and Retirement planning.

Chief Executive Officer for Innohub Nelson Amo indicated that the courses rendered in the local languages to accommodate a wider class of entrepreneurs provides a potent model for the state and other financial houses to adopt in extending loans to MSMEs.

“For those who were not educated, the training was done in the local language and the feedback showed it was really beneficial. When you add on the funding like MTN has done, it changes the equation,” he commended.

While admitting some startups failed after trial, Mr Amo challenged the nation to be bold about investing in indigenous startups arguing the country retains the ultimate benefits if a good number of such home grown businesses survive.

Beneficiary Entrepreneurs

The cash transferred into MTN Mobile Money Merchant Wallets of each of the entrepreneurs ranged from a minimum of five thousand cedis to a maximum of ten thousand cedis depending on the kind of business support requested.

The firms comprised green businesses involved in waste management and recycling; agro processing, manufacturing; beauty and cosmetics, fashion and general merchandize.

Edmond Arthur Brown, a young Ghanaian who owns a plastics recycling company, Premier Waste Services told Ultimate News, the financial support will place the business on a better footing to make more money and employ more hands.

“As a business, we are using the money to get more raw materials to increase our capacity. The financial support will help us increase our revenues, employ more to reduce unemployment and plough back these funds.”

Michelle Ayoming Dasa, CEO for Lamshare Shea Based Skin and Hair Cosmetic Products told reporter Ivan Heathcote – Fumador the training she had acquired especially in market research, customer care and business development would support new ideas she had developed after the training.

“The turning point for me was our training on design thinking. I realized I was turning away customers because I had chosen to run my operations in a particular way at a certain price range to meet a specific class of customers. But after the training I have started developing new products that will cover the bottom of the pyramid,” she explained.

The MTN Foundation Economic Empowerment Project currently running in the Ashanti, Western and Greater Accra Regions, is expected to admit at least five hundred entrepreneurs across the country, over the five year duration.

By: Ivan Heathcote – Fumador.

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