The Social Entrepreneurship Hub (SE-Hub) in collaboration with the SNV as part of its GrEEn Project, has launched the SNV GrEEn Incubation Cohort 3 which will see to the implementation of a six (6) months tailored business support for female-led/owned businesses across the Western Region.
Cohort 3 has four (4) Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as beneficiaries who were selected among over 100 entries after going through a series of processes, and they include Jilfa Trends, Emmy’s Shop Afrik, Nel Seneels Ventures and K & G Farms.
Jilfa Trends are into the use of textile waste to produce fashion-related accessories whiles Emmy’s Shop Afrik uses paper and textile waste to create dummies used in displaying clothes at fashion events and shops.
Nel Seneels Ventures uses banana stems to produce clothes and hair extensions and fish bones to produce fashion accessories, whiles K & G Farms uses droppings from the chicken and pigs they rear to produce organic manure.
Mr James Arthur-Amoah from SE-Hub who gave the purpose of gathering announced that the entrepreneurship support will assist them in building proper management systems and developing eco-inclusive business models that offer social, environmental and economic benefits.
He indicated that by so doing, the incubated businesses will create decent and sustainable green jobs for youth, women and returning migrants, and contribute to green and climate-resilient local economies.
Madam Hilda Abambire, Business Developing and Marketing Linkages Advisor for the SNV GrEEn Project disclosed that so far twenty-two (22) SMEs have gone through both Cohorts 1 and 2 covering about 30 per cent of female-led entities of the total beneficiaries who were trained by three (3) incubation hubs in the region.
She pointed out that male-led entities were dominating the program to the disadvantage of the females and hence, decided to make Cohort 3 an all female-led program.
Madam Abambire enlightened that the GrEEn initiative was to promote a green economy, entrepreneurship and employment in the country.
She said green business consists of businesses whose activities hover around organic materials, getting rid of plastic wastes, renewable energy and other businesses that have the tendency to improve on the vast depletion of the ecosystem.
She mentioned that beneficiaries of the incubation program will receive 6-months of support (office space with internet connectivity and other logistics), business development and financial management development, business coaching services, mentoring services, peer-to-peer networking and exchanges, and networking sessions with relevant stakeholders among others.
Other benefits are access to finance, access to markets such as access to input and output markets like trade shows, value chain forums, investment forums, trade fairs and B2B; record-keeping management; market research and scans; pitch development and skills; development of marketing handles like social media handles, and investment readiness vouchers (RGD, FDA, EPA, GSA, GMP, Eco-friendly packaging).
She, therefore, congratulated the beneficiaries for gaining access to the program and urged them to be good ambassadors of the GrEEn Project while using the knowledge gained to improve their businesses.
For her part, Madam Ama Alice, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cirillo Ventures called on the beneficiaries to be committed to the program, to actively participate in all the assignments, to consider themselves fortunate and embrace it with all seriousness, and build their capacity to receive more knowledge from the program.
Mr Sherif Ghally, CEO of Ghana Chamber of Young Entrepreneurs (GCYE), operators of the YESS Fund mentioned difficulty in accessing funding and added that young entrepreneurs and startups have great difficulty accessing traditional financing sources.
He hinted that studies have shown that only five (5) per cent of young entrepreneurs and startups can access traditional funding.
He explained that young entrepreneurs and startups tend to have little experience and few assets which makes financial institutions see them as too risky despite the modest investment many require.