The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) awarded US$150,000 (GHS820,000) grants to five organizations with women focused initiatives, on behalf of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
The grant award is part of efforts to support and expand innovative business enterprises that have significant growth potentials in Ghana.
In line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the grant will enable the beneficiaries to deploy modern technologies to expand their businesses, generate income, ensure food security and promote sustainable land management.
The grantees are Accelerated Rural Development Organization, Ayorya Women Groundnut Producers Association, Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry –Wa Chamber, Ripples Ghana and Women Sustainable Charcoal Producers Association. These enterprises are producing, processing and marketing goods such as organic indigenous rice, groundnut, shea-butter and environmentally-friendly charcoal, respectively.
The selected organizations are expected to generate employment and build capacities of 5,000 women entrepreneurs in Ghana. Speaking on behalf of the grantees, Gloria Asare Adu, the Founder of Women Sustainable Charcoal Producers Association, thanked UNDP/ GEF-SGP for the grant.
“We are very happy to receive this grant. This gives us a lot of responsibilities to go out there to create more jobs and enhance the capacity of other women”.
The Chairman of the National Steering Committee of the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP), Dr. King David Amoah, emphasized the importance of the grant for the socio-economic development of women.
“Most of our former grantees are doing well and some have even earned international recognitions with their businesses. Little beginnings can lead to great outcomes, so I challenge you all to adopt the right mindset and see this grant as an opportunity to make your businesses profitable”, Dr. Amoah urged.
During her remarks, the Acting Resident Representative of UNDP Ghana, Silke Hollander, noted that beneficiaries will not just be offered financial support but will be supported and taken through training activities to ensure that the objectives of the grants are met. She urged the grantees to use the funds for the proposed businesses to derive other benefits.
“We call on the awardees to apply diligence and skills in the judicious use of the grant to achieve success and greater impact. Your success will spur on more funding support for other small women entrepreneurs across the country”, stated Ms. Hollander.
The grant activities being supported under this programme include the acquisition of improved technologies for transforming nature-based raw materials into finished-products that meet local and international standards. The programme will also provide business management counselling, training in product development and design, and financial support to the poor and vulnerable women entrepreneurs to enable them compete in the local market.