The National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI) is poised to unveil a GHC90 million “Nkosuo” loans scheme under a new recovery programme to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) across the country from October this year.
The initiative, which is also being rolled out in Canada and six other African countries, seeks to provide continuous support for small businesses to become resilient and recover from the most damaging effects of the coronavirus disease.
Speaking on The Asaase Breakfast Show on Thursday (17 September), Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, executive director of the NBSSI, said the scheme is part of a new COVID-19 relief and recovery programme being implemented by the Board in collaboration with the Mastercard Foundation.
“At the beginning when President Akufo-Addo came out in March to announce the importance of supporting micro, small and medium enterprises, it resonated with a lot of partners who then said, ‘If a president is really committed to his people and the sector, then we are going to provide support as well,’” she said.
From adom to nkosuo
“There were a lot of partners who then came in and one of them is the Mastercard Foundation, which has come in to see how we can really support these businesses.”
The Nkosuo scheme is intended to complement what the government began doing – through the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAP BuSS) with its “Adom” and “Anidasuo” loans fund – to rejuvenate the economy.
Roughly GHC90 million will be disbursed by the NBSSI, targeting 25,000 MSMEs.
Yankey-Ayeh said participating financial institutions will also play a role in monitoring and supporting the programme.
“For now, I think one of the most important things is to try to understand where and which businesses really need and deserve the fund, and once we have identified them, we build a relationship that doesn’t only last with the disbursement,” she said.
The Nkosuo loans programme is in line with the government’s vision of supporting and cushioning small businesses which have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Currently, micro, small and medium-scale enterprises constitute roughly 80% of businesses in Ghana and contribute significantly to the nation’s socio-economic development.
The National Board for Small-Scale Industries is the main government agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry mandated to strengthen, grow and develop micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Ghana.
The NBSSI currently operates 185 business advisory centres and business resource centres across the country.