The National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme-NEIP has launched Hubs Acceleration Grant Programme -HAGP under the Ghana Economic Transformation Project-GETP.
NEIP is one of the implementers of component three (3) of the programme which seeks to ensure Entrepreneurship and Micro, Small and Medium eEnterprises (MSME) growth.
This component will support entrepreneurship and MSME growth in non-resource-based sectors, addressing specifically the limited development of the MSME and entrepreneurship support ecosystem, including early-stage financing.
NEIP’s Hubs Acceleration Grant Programme is to support the hubs to accelerate Start-ups and SME growth.
Below is the full speech of the Chief Executive Officer of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovations Programme-NEIP. Kofi Ofosu Nkansah
PRESS LAUNCH OF THE NEIP HUB ACCELERATION GRANT PROGRAMME
23rd February 2023
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, officials from the World Bank and GETP PCU, Our Deloitte Consultants, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem stakeholders present, Colleagues from NEIP, Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning and welcome to the Press Launch of the NEIP Hubs Acceleration Grant Programme (HAGP), under Ghana Economic Transformation Project.
The Ghana Economic Transformation Project has four (4) components, and NEIP’s programmes fall under Component 3 of the project.
The component 3 supports entrepreneurship and SME growth in non-resource-based sectors and it is aimed at addressing the limited development of the SME and entrepreneurship support ecosystem, including early-stage financing to promote and strengthen a growth model that is conducive to economic transformation, to achieve higher rates of investment and productivity growth across the economy, especially in non-resource-based sectors.
The Hubs Grant sub-component under Component 3 (which we are launching now), is a Grant Program to support the development of the entrepreneurship ecosystem by building the capacities of entrepreneurship hubs to bring the quality of their services up to international standards. The Hubs will be supported to run programs, that would benefit firms and startups within our communities. There will also be mapping and benchmarking of Hubs as part of our component 3 programmes.
The grant Programme, will competitively select a number of hubs which will be provided Technical assistance and capacity building to address gaps identified during the benchmarking exercise. Selected Hubs will receive grants up to $200,000 to support their operations, upgrade their offices and equipments, and run the Acceleration programmes.
The Ghanaian start-up landscape has seen tremendous growth in the number of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hubs over the last decade. We now have Hubs in several parts of the country with each region having more than one hub. And NEIP has consistently collaborated with these Hubs over the last 6 years.
Despite this positive growth in the ecosystem, the hubs that are nurturing of our emerging start-ups have some issues and therefore needs support to be able to grow more businesses, hence the Implementation of this HAGP by the Government with the support of the World Bank.
Call for Applications
We are by this launch, opening a call for Applications for the HAG Programme. This Call is opened to all the Incubation and Entrepreneurship Hubs in the Country, including business incubators, accelerators, technology centers, University Hubs and other entrepreneurship support organizations.
Prospective Applicants can go on our website, www.neip.gov.gh and apply. The Application link for the call is also available on all NEIP Social media platforms. There will be publications in the newspapers as well. The closing date for the Application will be Friday 10th March 2023.
The HAG Programme will be focused on Hubs operating in the following sectors: Agriculture, technology & innovation, Light manufacturing & processing, waste & green businesses, and technical and vocational oriented Hubs. We encourage the active participation of women, youth and persons with disability in the grant programme.
The qualification criteria for applicants is as follows:
1. Hubs Must be legally registered in Ghana.
2. Ownership must be 100% Ghanaian.
3. They Must have operated as an Enterprise Support Organization in Ghana for at least three (3) years.
4. They should have Core expertise in Entrepreneurship Support and business acceleration.
5. They Must be able to present a qualified and competent team of Business Development Experts, Mentors, Trainers,
6. They Must be able to demonstrate standard business practices such as good corporate governance, bookkeeping and accounting etc.
7. They Must be ready to contribute in-kind resources such as staff time and physical locations to the program.
8. They Must have adequate space to host the intended programs for start-ups.
9. They must Show Traction of Previous Work Experience with detailed Profile
10. They Must Submit a two-year financial report.
11. Must submit a one-year Acceleration Programme concept design for start-ups.
Selection of Hubs for the grant will also be based on the following:
– Submission of Sound business plan (with revenue projections, working capital & operating cost estimates, staffing, start-ups access to finance plan, succession plan, SWOT analysis, marketing plan etc)
– Technical Assistance Support Plan (licensing, regulatory, compliance, standardization, and certification requirements among others)
– Submit Technical, Financial and Procurement management plan. Basically how you run the Hub
PROCESS FLOW FOR GRANT PROGRAMME:
1. We will start with the Call for Applications
2. Screening of applications
3. Conduct Due Diligence (including field visits) done, based on submitted business plans with supporting documents to assess applicant`s financial, technical/operational feasibility and institutional capacity to implement incubation and acceleration programmes.
4. IGC reviews, evaluates and approves, defer or decline applicants request using the established eligibility and selection criteria.
5. Preparation of Grant Redemption Contracts/Funding Agreements for execution by grantees.
6. Disbursements and monitoring of funds based on agreed implementation plan with beneficiaries
7. Undertake periodic Monitoring and audits to ensure compliance and use of funds for right purposes.
The hubs can receive up to $200,000 to build their capacities to standards befitting of an international hub. We hope to grow our hubs to help create the Unicorns of the future.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, we have held sensitization workshops for all prospective Hubs, which spelt out the modalities and criteria for the application.
The Phase 2 of the Hubs Acceleration Grant Programme will cover set up and operationalization of new Hubs, including revitalizing Hubs which are not more than 2 years old.
• I’ll first thank my team at NEIP, led by the project lead Franklin Owusu Karikari for the good job done on this project.
• Thank the World Bank team
• Project Coordinating Unit of the GETP, our component specialist esp, for project supervision and provision of technical advice and guidance component 3,
• The Ministry of Finance (MoF) who are responsible for the management of the grant dedicated account and
• and our consultants (Deloitte) who are our Technical advisors..
Finally, we thank H.E the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for his continuous support for the growth of Entrepreneurship Ecosystem, for his various interventions to ignite and unleash the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of young people in a bid to mark conscious departure from job seeking to job creation and job ownership
With these said, I have the singular honor to formally declare the NEIP Hub Acceleration Programme LAUNCHED.
Thank you very much for your attention.