Kumasi, Nov. 18, GNA - A total of 21 million dollars has been lodged into the Venture Capital Trust Fund from the 2003/2004 financial year to October this year.
Miss Hamdiya Ismaila, Deputy Head of the Business Development Service Unit of the Ministry of Private Sector Development and President's Special Initiative (PSI), who announced this said, a bulk of the monies generated into the fund came from the 25 per cent proceeds of the National Reconstruction Levy.
Miss Ismaila was speaking on the topic "Accessing Funds from the Ghana Venture Capital Fund" at a one-day workshop on financing for Micro and Small-Scale Non-Traditional Exporters in Kumasi on Friday. The workshop was organized by the Youth In Exports Association in collaboration with the National Youth Council (NYC) and attended by 40 young exporters from the Ashanti Region.
The workshop was part of activities in connection with Export Development Week.
Miss Ismaila said even though money was lodged in the fund, and a Chief Executive was appointed, as well as the Board of Governors being nominated, the fund was still not functional but would start operations early next year after its formal launching.
She therefore, urged Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to take advantage of the fund, when officially launched, to secure financial resources to promote and develop their ventures. Mr Amankwah Frimpong, Ashanti Regional Co-ordinator of the NYC, disclosed that the council has so far received 700 Business Plans from entrepreneurs for processing under the National Youth Development Fund. He said the Council would soon embark on an interview to shortlist and select qualified applicants to be granted the loans. Mr Frimpong said the merit of the National Youth Development Fund is that, as long as one qualifies for it, there is no need providing any collateral.
Mr Erasmus Eshong, Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana National Export Promotion Council (GNEPC), stressed the need for Ghanaian exporters not to by-pass the Council in their desire to enter the export market.
He said the prudent thing to do was for them to first contact and discuss with the Council, their plans to venture into the export market, saying, without such contacts their drive at making a head way in the international market might become a failure.
Mr Eshong said the GNEPC was set up to assist Ghanaians in the export trade, and it was only when they make ample use of its facilities that its creation could be justified.