The European Union has announced its intention to aid Ghanaian and African businesses with technical and financial assistance.
A maximum of 3000 start-ups from 13 African nations, including Ghana, will get training and technical support to help them create good and long-term jobs on the continent.
The initiative, which is part of a program called “Investissueurs and Partenaires(I&P) Acceleration in Sahel,” aims to provide seed money to entrepreneurs in the range of $ 3,000 to $40,000 over two years.
I&P Acceleration in Sahel, funded by the European Union and administered jointly by I&P and Wangara Green Ventures, seeks to develop a new breed of African entrepreneurs and boost the entrepreneurial environment on the continent.
At the launch of the initiative, Ms. Sophie Menage, the Programs Manager of I&P Acceleration in Sahel, stated that funding constraints were one of the key problems encountered by around 40% of start-ups on the continent, but expressed hope that it would be a nonissue soon.
The project’s manager noted that several start-ups did not fulfill the requirements of traditional financial institutions, and that the project was attempting to bridge that gap.
“There is a lack of skills among entrepreneurs and their teams on basic business management issues and a governance deficit. Entrepreneurship is rarely the subject of training approach and the reinforcement of effective and tailor-made skills by business professionals.”Ms Sophie Menage
Ms. Menage explained that the cohort would profit from a nine-month hybrid training program devoted to financial issues called “investment readiness” following their selection.
According to Mr. Renald Appiah, Portfolio Manager for Wangara Green Venture, a start-up must be operated by creative and skilled entrepreneurs of African nationality or continuously settled in the region in order to qualify for the support.
Mr. Appiah added that the applicant must pledge to operate in an environmentally and socially responsible manner, as well as pay heed to projects headed by vulnerable groups, including young women and people living in poor areas.
To meet the requirements, the start-up company must operate in the formal economy or be in the process of doing so, and it must have the ability to grow and access capital.
Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Cameroon, Togo, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Benin, Chad, Mauritania, and Guinea are among the nations eligible for the call for applications.
Mr. Emmanuel Soubiran, a Programs Officer at the EU delegation in Ghana’s Governance Section, mentioned that the project would help to offset the high incidence of migration by offering job possibilities for young people. He stated that the effort would provide start-ups with finance and technical assistance, as well as build fundamental infrastructure to help them commercialize and grow their businesses.
Africa’s recovery from Covid-19
Recently, during the Summit on Financing African Economies held by French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, launched a Team Europe initiative to aid Africa’s recuperation from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Collaborating with African partners, the initiative will use a ‘Team Europe’ approach to mobilize significant funding and technical expertise from the European Union and its Member States to address key impediments that prevent young entrepreneurs and small business owners from expanding and developing their businesses across Africa.