Takoradi,- Twenty-two businesses in Ghana’s green sector have been awarded matching grants of 3,000 Euros each under the SNV, Netherlands Development Organization, Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana ( GrEEn) project for youth in the Western and Ashanti Regions.

The awards are to support green businesses and entrepreneurs, who have innovative products and services in SNV’s three sectors of Agriculture, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in the Western and Ashanti Regions.

The challenge, funded by the European Union, is embedded in GrEEn’s entrepreneurship skills development intervention based on the Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) approach.

The 22 entrepreneurs out of 99 applicants were allowed to present their business ideas out of which 10 were selected from the Western Region with the other 12 from the Ashanti Region.

Speaking at the award ceremony, the Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, congratulated the entrepreneurs for developing brilliant businesses that would minimize the effects of climate change, promote sustainable agricultural practices and solve the issue of unemployment.

The Minister told the beneficiaries to count themselves lucky since not many people were able to get the opportunities provided by SNV and its partners.

He urged them to work hard to sustain their businesses to make them major businesses in Ghana.

“Use what you have been given judiciously, multiply it so that the entire country can benefit from it. You cannot fail with it, You cannot spend the amounts recklessly but work hard and keep a positive mindset.”

on her part, Madam Sarah Aggrey, the Green Project Manager SNV, said the Green Project, which is funded by the European Union and the Government of the Netherlands, was committed to offering skills training in green businesses and supporting green business plan development for young entrepreneurs.

She said the business plan competition was initiated to encourage service recipients to design and develop innovative green business ideas into business plans based on the market realities.

She charged the beneficiaries to serve as change-makers in combating the harsh effects of climate change.

Madam Aggrey said aside from the three main categories that were awarded, there were also awards in Female led Businesses, Businesses led by returning migrants, youth cooperative and Waste to cash businesses.

She said a total of EUR60,000 was awarded to the selected entrepreneurs with each receiving EUR3,000 to help them expand their businesses at the local level.

The GrEEn project is a four-year action from the EU, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, SNV Netherlands Development Organization and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).

The project seeks to improve the ability of women, the youth and returning migrants to take advantage of green jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities in their localities.

It also works to support and scale up the growth of Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs).

Source: Ghana News Agency

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