The Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA), formerly NBSSI, and the Mastercard Foundation have announced a partnership with Lokko House Limited, to create a retail shop and an online marketplace.
The platform will enable women-owned and led enterprises to promote their products and connect with customers globally.
Lokko House Limited, a Ghanaian enterprise that promotes urban art, fashion, and creative culture, will lead the initiative which falls under GEA and the Mastercard Foundation's Young Africa Works in Ghana MSME Business Acceleration (MBA) programme.
The goal is to support women entrepreneurs with brand building, business promotion, and access to new markets.
The retail and online shop themed "Made in Ghana Concept Shop" will host and market products from targeted MSMEs within the following categories: Ghanaian-owned/led businesses, Women-owned/led businesses, Businesses with a minimum of five (5) employees (both permanent and casual), Startups owned by women and Unique product offerings
"There is an increasing need to develop initiatives that allow women entrepreneurs to scale their businesses and to access new markets. We are aware that the empowerment of women and their businesses tend to have a strong multiplier effect on the wider community.
That is why we are launching this initiative to help open new market opportunities and increase revenues for MSMEs that are owned and led by women. This opportunity couldn't have come at a better time, as we commemorate Women's month," said Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Chief Executive Officer of GEA.
In addition to opening access to both local and international markets, qualified business owners will benefit from capacity building in branding and digital marketing to increase their revenue earnings while unlocking sustainable job opportunities for Ghanaian youth.
"With the right support, digitization, and access to new markets, women-owned and led MSMEs have the potential to lead the economic recovery effort in Ghana and create better futures for their families and communities," said Mastercard Foundation's Regional Director for West, Central and Northern Africa, Nathalie Akon Gabala.
The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA)/Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works Project is an entrepreneurship development and employment program targeted at young people, particularly young women, in Ghana.
The Project, therefore, falls under the Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment Program (YEEP) of GEA.
The Project is being implemented in Ghana by GEA and will create employment and income-generation opportunities for 39,000 young men and women in Ghana with 70 per cent of beneficiaries being women.
The Project leverages on existing GEA flagship Programs such as the Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurship (A2E), Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Hubs, and the Kaizen Program. These programs are delivered through the 183 Business Advisory Centres/Business Resource Centres across the country and in collaboration with other Young Africa Works partners in Ghana including CAMFED.
Qualifying business owners can apply for the programme via: www.nbssi.gov.gh/youngafricaworks.