A five-year support program for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in Kumasi, Takoradi, and Greater Accra has been introduced by the MTN Foundation.
Cynthia Mills, the MTN Foundation’s Economic Empowerment Advisor, told the media that the program’s goal is to help small companies in the capital cities develop to the point where they can expand and hire more people.
She revealed that the project is assisting SME’s in Ghana only for the first phase 27 out of the 140 beneficiaries are from Ashanti.
She clarified that the Foundation announced that anyone might apply to receive a 1.3 million Ghanaian cedi initial capital.
After undergoing screening by an impartial jury, applicants were required to complete background checks in order to verify their claims of being successful business enterprises.
She mentioned that the applicants received funding to allow them to operate depending on the ideas they made.
She said that the monies being distributed were between GHC5,000 and GHC 10,000.
“140 beneficiaries came out of this and so and also basically to outdoor them and because they’ll be receiving their monies various amounts from now the maximum amount is 10,000 Ghana cedis for their businesses they have various needs some requested for 5,000 so and it isn’t everyone receiving the 10,000.”
The MTN Enterprise Support Programme is in partnership with the Innohub Foundation and was launched in March 2023 and MSMEs were invited to submit applications. The shortlisted MSMEs were invited to pitch, and the successful beneficiaries were selected for the onboarding.
“Interviews were held, the project had independent jury who are not part of MTN so we went around, we opened applications I mean call for nominations and we shot listed those and we interviewed each one now and if you claim you have a business what is it ? can we see what you produce ? what are the numbers when did you start so have you taken loans from other companies before have you paid the way questions asked after the interviews those who passed for the interview we still went to do background checks on them to make sure that I mean they just didn’t come there to sit and tell us stories so they were background checks and we finally settled on these people” Madam Mills explained the procedure they went through before giving out monies to them.
The MTN Foundation’s Economic Empowerment Advisor Cynthia Mills. Advised them to make good use of the money.
“They shouldn’t misuse it, Christmas is just around the corner and we’re giving them this money because Christmas is around the corner a lot of people will need to buy things for their businesses there’ll be a lot of buying so that’s why we’re giving the money to them at this particular time. But we also need to caution them that they shouldn’t misuse it” she added.
“When you looked at the trainings again the types of businesses and all of that and it showed that the majority of them didn’t know a lot about financial management, majority didn’t know that they had to separate their business money from home, what they spent daily so that was the main things we taught them.”
In an exclusive interview with Mrs Michelle Ayog-Nying Dassah Founder of Laam Shea who deals with cosmetics this is what she said: “Okay so I saw the flyer around social media and on some of my groups, so I decided to give it a try and I’ll say it’s been very impactful at least for me especially, because I had to really learn or read things some of my processes actually felt I knew it. I had attended previous trainings but then the consultants were given me new perspective of what I thought I knew”.
“Trends in some of the questions especially like making use of data we were collecting. I had a software app to tell everyone that oh I got this data but I did nothing with it but then again this training open my mind to the wealth of opportunities that data were given to us that I could use to analyze my clients how many of them are buying the startup products and how I can target them better so I’ll say is very impactful at least it has open my eyes and dreams of what to do with information” she added.
Philip K Mensah, a Kente weaver at Agona, one of the beneficiaries who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries said, “We appreciate MTN giving us this honor. It is difficult to run a business these days, therefore we can only say “Ayekoo” to MTN for supporting MSMEs in Ghana to the level that it is helping them. You have our eternal gratitude for the thoughtful act.