Dr Ibrahim Awal Mohammed, the Minister for Business Development, has said the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) Programme will serve as a huge support for the 500 selected SMEs.
He said the support was to enable the SMEs to become fully established in their field of businesses.
Dr Mohammed was speaking during a visit to the participants of Africa Internship Academy (AIA) as part of the monitoring tour for the NEIP Programme.
NEIP is a flagship policy initiative of the government of Ghana with the primary objective of providing an integrated, national support for start-ups and small businesses, focusing on the provision of business development services, business incubators and funding for youth-owned businesses.
The Minister, together with the Chief Executive Officer of NEIP, Mr John Kumah met a section of participants and engaged them in various business models available in NEIP.
He said those, who would not be selected as part of the 500 SMEs to receive support from the government, would still benefit from the skills acquired through the one month intensive entrepreneurial and business development training and mentorship programme from Africa Internship Academy.
He said additionally, they stand the chance to apply next year as they hope to select 1000 or more SMEs and the 500 selected SMEs would not be left unmonitored after receiving the support from government, and would be assigned mentors to train them for five years.
Mr Kumah explained that the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) which was a recent government development would be advantageous to NEIP participants.
“There is a model in NABCO called Enterprise Ghana, that one is private sector focused and under Enterprise Ghana, if you request, for instance accountants or marketers for your business, we will write to NABCO to post those people to you, and as they work for you, government pays them,” he said.
Mr Daniel Antwi, the Africa Regional Business and Partnership Manager, assured the Minister that each participant would be engaged thoroughly to make sure they achieve their purpose of enrolling on the programme.
“Each participant will be profiled to make sure the programme is in general, value-for-time,” he said.
He commended the Minister and the CEO for working tirelessly on such a great initiative and appreciated their efforts.