EXIM Bank Ghana has presented GH¢100,000 each to 20 young graduate entrepreneurs to enhance their businesses at a ceremony held at the Alisa Hotel, Accra.
The Bank last year set up the Graduate Enterprise Development Initiative (GEDI) project as a complement to the Youth Enterprise Support (YES) programme. It is meant to support graduates between the ages of 18 and 35 to set up their own non-traditional export trade and agro-based processing businesses to feed the local industry since it is strongly believed these young graduates have the potential of becoming successful.
In view of this, Exim Bank Ghana has contracted the Directorate of Research, Innovation and Consultancy (DRIC) to serve as the implementing partner.
In his remarks, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Dr. Baffour Osei indicated that the project would have a multiplier effect since it would serve as a source of employment to other graduates. Dr. Osei assured that the Bank would follow up on the progress of the awardees to ensure that the money given them was put to good use.
Prof. Richard Bani who chaired the ceremony, noted that it was not the preserve for well established companies alone to contribute to the economy and added that small scale companies contribute over $27 million to the US economy every year. “Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) are generating more to the economy of Ghana too because government alone cannot employ everybody”.
Prof. Bani who is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank, indicated that recently four graduates from the University of Ghana launched a software known as ‘Asorba’ to help churches with the administration of their tithes and networking of their members. He urged the award winners to constantly improve on their products so as to assure them of ready patronage from both local and international markets. To this end, the Chairman of the Board advised them to work closely with both the Ghana Standards Authority and the Food and Drugs Authority in order to meet both local and international standards.
Lead Consultant for the GEDI project, Prof. Rosemond Boohene said the University of Cape Coast worked closely with the EXIM Bank and participants at every stage of the project implementation through training, monitoring, coaching and final selection of the award winners. She said 20 businesses were eventually selected from the initial 37 that were shortlisted by an 11-member panel.
Prof. Boohene congratulated the award winners and assured them of the University’s support. “We would continue to provide support for you as you implement your respective projects”.
“We hope that the vigorous processes that we have taken you through in the past six months have adequately prepared you to manage your businesses”.
She assured the 17 other finalists that they would continue to liaise with them to get alternative funding opportunities for their businesses.
The award businesses are Juga Farms, Vegerfresh Farms Limited, Tittan Ventures, Yarda Trust Company Limited, Sule Yahaya Enterprise, Modern Grasscutter Company Limited, Nawubil Limited, Babaoo Foods Limited, Nouveau Foods Ghana Limited and E90 Ghana.
The rest are PK Farms Limited, Premor Limited Sparkxx Foods and Beverages Loimited, DSustainable Agro Limited, Isshad Plus Enterprise, Basoah Agriculture Centre, Billion Gates Ventures, Odera Ventures, Unique Quality Enterprise and DelChris Ventures.