The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and the Mastercard Foundation have launched the COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) dubbed the “Nkosuo” Program.
The new stimulus package is meant to cushion micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from the negative impact of COVID-19.
With an initial commitment of GH¢90 million, the new COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Programme is to provide financial assistance in the form of grants and soft loans through participating institutions and business development services.
The Executive Director of the NBSSI, Kosi Yankey Ayeh speaking at the launch of the Program, underlined the call to support MSMEs in the country.
“While we appreciate the scarcity and the limit we have with resources, the NBSSI representing the Government through the Ministry of Trade and Industry reached out to our friends and development partners to complement the efforts of the Government of Ghana in assisting MSMEs. Thankfully MasterCard Foundation responded positively to our proposal with an amount of GHC 90 million to also support our MSMEs under a program dubbed the “Nkosuo” program.
She, however, explained that “The objective of this fund is to provide support to our MSMEs and urge them on from resilience to progress hence the name NKOSUO.
This program with Mastercard Foundation marks the beginning of a NEW ERA for MSMEs in Ghana: an era that opens its doors to development partners for new, innovative and strategic partnerships as this one with Mastercard Foundation. Master Foundation has led the way into this new era. We are most grateful to them for the assistance and partnership over the years and we hope to be worthy partners for many more years to come, let me seize this opportunity to call on other development partners join hands with the NBSSI to support the Government’s Ghana Coronavirus Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises (Ghana CARES) Program. Mastercard Foundation, once again on behalf of the good people of Ghana.”
The ‘Nkosuo’ program which will provide financial assistance and focus on supporting MSMEs and start-ups in sectors such as Agriculture and Agro-businesses, Water and Sanitation, Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals, Trade and commerce, Garment and Personal Protective Equipment, the Creative Arts Industry, Manufacturing, Food and Beverage among others will be payable within two years after a moratorium of one year.
On his part, the Deputy Trade Minister Robert Ahomka-Lindsay urged the board to responsible for the disbursement of the stimulus package to work without fear of favour and also called on relevant stakeholders to cooperate with the government of Ghana to help ease the economic catastrophe on small businesses in the country.
Online portals had been created to ensure easy accessibility to the registration and application forms. Prospective applicants to visit the online platform of the NBSSI [nbssi.gov.gh/recoveryprogram] contact the nearest NBBSI Business Advisory Centre (BAC) within their districts across the country.