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Business & Finance | May 6, 2004

Databank to Launch ¢10 Billion Fund to Support Small Firms

Ghanaian Times

Databank Financial Services Limited is to launch a ¢10 billion fund as part of its E-Pack Investment Fund to support the expansion of small and medium scale enterprises in the country.

It has also launched the first University Venture Fund to support university students to go into business entrepreneurship.

Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, Executive Chairman of Databank, disclosed this at the Final Awards Ceremony of the Third National Ghana New Ventures Competition (GNVC) Business Plan Competition held in Accra at the weekend.

The annual business plan competition is aimed at training aspiring entrepreneurs to produce effective business plans, empowering them through mentors and role models in the Ghanaian business community, and enabling them to establish their own companies.

GNVC, an international non-profit organisation incorporated in Ghana and the United States, provides the most promising teams of entrepreneurs with start-up grants totaling thousands of dollars.

The first prize went to Supply Solutions, they received a start-up grant of $5,000, and will produce and supply aggregates, sand, fill material, and oyster shells with dam reservoirs.

Greenfield Agro Ventures, a team that will process palm fruits into edible and industrial palm oil, received the second prize, amounting to $3,000, while the third prize of $2,000 went to Rejuve Spa & Resort to start a spa and health resort facility in Prampram.

Mr. Ofori-Atta urged the award winners to take advantage of the favourable political and economic environment in the country to bring out the best output in their respective ventures.

On his part, Mr. Ben Cohen, Chief Operations Officer, GNVC, said, “In more than two years of operations, GNVC has already catalyzed the formation of three other new ventures in the country, namely Strategic Accounting Solutions (SAS), Afroduct, and Peco Training Centre, each of which received $1,000 in start-up grants.”

In the coming months, he said they would be launching a four-part University Connections Programme in order to further link the international and Ghanaian academic, business, and investor communities.

“This programme will involve an Entrepreneurship Course developed between the US and Ghana, GNVC Students Clubs, a Graduate Consultants Programme, and Summer Internships at GNVC,” he said.

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