UNDP awards $70,000 grant to MSMEs

March 12, 2024

The grants awardees with the partners. Sitting from right is Mr. Kofi Ansong Denkye, Chief Operating Officer, Empretec Ghana, in the middle is Angela Lusigi, UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana, and left is Mrs. Audrey Abakah, Director of SMEs, Agency Banking and Partnerships at Absa Bank Ghana.

Photo @Abdul-Rahim Naa Abdul-Lahie/ UNDPGhana


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) awards 18 women and youth-led Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) a total of 70,000 US dollars grant to grow their businesses.

The award falls under UNDP’s integrated MSMEs support programme that aims to improve the sustainability of MSMEs to advance job creation and economic growth.

“At UNDP, we believe that providing integrated support to small businesses particularly those owned by women and youth is key to transforming the economy and unlocking the productivity of the informal sector. This will create decent jobs and break the cycle of poverty and inequality”, noted Angela Lusigi, UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana.

The grant award is part of a series of business development activities that close to 3000 participants have benefited from over the past four years. Over the years, UNDP has disbursed over USD 500,000 through various challenges including – Youth Innovation for Sustainable Development (YISD) challenge, the Waste recovery platform, and COVID-19 innovation challenge.

Under this current District Innovation Challenge rolled out in partnership with Absa Bank Ghana and Empretec Ghana, 300 businesses received training, coaching, and mentorship support on best business practices.

“Absa Bank is fully committed to working with partners to drive sustainable economic growth by providing financing options to help businesses grow”, said Mrs. Audrey Abakah, Director of SMEs, Agency Banking and Partnerships at Absa Bank Ghana. 

The participants of the integrated MSMEs support programme were drawn from six Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs) across Ghana. The MMDAs include Sagnerigu, Jomoro, Ketu South, Sefwi Wiawso, Kumasi, and Kassena-Nankana West. 

Money alone doesn’t make entrepreneurs successful. What makes entrepreneurs successful is their mindset and behavior. So, I urge the awardees to continue to cultivate the right mindset and behaviour to become growth-oriented businesses,” noted, Mr. Kofi Ansong Denkye, Chief Operating Officer, Empretec Ghana. 

Before the grants award, the participants went through an innovation pitching competition, out of which 18 winners from the 6 districts have been awarded about 50,000 Ghana cedis grants to invest in the growth of their businesses.  

I train physically challenged persons to sow and thanks to the business development training, I have now registered my business. I am also doing proper bookkeeping. I will invest the fund into machinery to train more physically challenged persons”, noted Esther Nyamekeh, Fashion Designer of Lifetime Designs, from Jomoro District. 

As part of the partnership, Absa Bank Ghana will be granting access to loans for interested entrepreneurs out of the 300 MSMEs that participated in the District Innovation Challenge at low-interest rates. 

The integrated MSMEs support programme included readiness support to MSMEs to leverage the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to trade across borders. In addition, the programme enhanced the capacity of MSMEs in good corporate governance, created awareness among the businesses to prevent radicalization, and provided energy and resource efficiency support.

Currently, UNDP is working with Société Générale, UBA, and Mastercard Foundation to scale the lessons and reach a diverse group of young innovators across Ghana. Over the next few years, UNDP aims to invest about 13 million US dollars in atypical Young African Innovators to overcome the barriers of level of education, language, and people with disabilities. 

The integrated support for MSMEs is to build the resilience of youth and women-led businesses to contribute to inclusive and sustainable development.

Esther Nyamekeh, Fashion Designer of Lifetime Designs, from Jomoro District, receiving her grant award letter from the UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana, Angela Lusigi.

Photo @Abdul-Rahim Naa Abdul-Lahie/ UNDPGhana