A total of $7 million is to be injected by the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) into its Hubs Acceleration Grants (HAG) Programme.
About 100 hubs across the country are to take part in this programme which will see successful hubs receive support.
The programme which is being funded by the World Bank under its Ghana Economic Transformation Project, will see selected hubs receive between $50,000 and $200,000 in financial support.
Women and youth have been encouraged to take part in this programme which is running until June this year.
Speaking at the launch of the programme on February 23, 2023, the Chief Executive Officer of the NEIP, Mr. Kofi Ofosu Nkansah, indicated that the programme is aimed at developing the entrepreneurial ecosystems by building the capacities of these hubs to bring out the quality of their services.
“The hubs will be supported to run programmes that would benefit firms and startups within various communities “, he stressed.
Out of the $7 million, Mr. Ofosu Nkansah explained that $3 million is going into setting up new hubs and getting them running efficiently.
He also stated that the remaining $4 million will be used to provide technical assistance and capacity building to address gaps identified during the benchmarking exercise, in which the Hubs were assisted in running programs that benefited firms and startups.
The Hubs Acceleration Grants Programme (HAG), he mentioned, is focused on sectors such as agriculture, technology and innovation, light manufacturing and processing, waste, and green business, as well as technical and vocational education.
For the past decade, the Ghanaian startup landscape, according to the CEO, has seen tremendous growth in the number of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hubs, with each region now in Ghana having more than one hub and NEIP consistently collaborating with these hubs for the past six years.
Despite this positive growth, however, Mr. Ofosu Nkansah admitted that there have been some issues with the emerging startups, which need support to be able to grow more.
At the launch, he called for applications from all incubation and entrepreneurship hubs in the country.
These, he said, include business incubators, accelerators, technical centers, and organizations that support entrepreneurship.
During the open forum, he gave the assurance that there will be effective monitoring and evaluation to ensure that the funds that will be given to the hubs will be put to their intended use.
He announced 10-point qualification criteria, some of which include that a hub must be legally registered in Ghana with 100% Ghanaian ownership. Space to host the intended programme, standard business practices, and a two-year financial support report, among others.
In a remark at the launch, the president of the Ghana Hubs Network, Mr. Josiah Eyeson, said the support has come at the right time.
He expressed his gratitude and gave the indication that they are looking forward to working with NEIP.
“Our members will work in the path to accelerate the goals of the programme ,“ he assured.