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Hi, I'm Agyepomaa Oklah, the creative director of Ajepomaa Design Gallery, and I'm excited to share our journey. Our fashion apparel company has been around since February 2010, and it's been a 12-year adventure filled with ups and downs. Before COVID-19, we were a small team of five, and we were manufacturing for both our online and in-store customers. However, the online part of our business was moving slowly at the time. But when COVID hit, things changed dramatically. The pandemic forced people to stay home, and they started ordering online. This shift helped boost our online business significantly. As for our in-store operations, it took some time before we saw improvements.

In 2021, we experienced a substantial drop in our in-store sales due to the lingering effects of COVID-19. We had to make some tough choices, including staff layoffs and having our remaining team work reduced hours. But then, I heard about the COVID-19 response grant from GEA, supported by the World Bank, through a relative. Later, it was advertised in newspapers and on billboards across the city, making me even more eager to apply.

I was thrilled when I got approved for the grant. It was my first time receiving support from the Government of Ghana. The grant amounted to 44,000 Ghana CEDs, which was equivalent to $10,000 at the time. With this financial boost, we were able to hire more people, invest in equipment, and expand our operations. We doubled our production output, going from around 20 pieces per week to an impressive 35 to 40 pieces.

We also harnessed the increasing demand for online shopping through platforms like WhatsApp and our e-commerce website. The grant allowed us to enhance our online presence and meet the needs of our customers. The grant's positive impact extended to our physical store. With its help, we were able to move to a new location, marking a significant milestone in our journey.

I am incredibly thankful to the Ghana Enterprise Agency, the World Bank, and the Government of Ghana for granting us this opportunity to expand our business and fuel our growth. Our journey at Ajepomaa Design Gallery is a testament to the power of resilience and how the right support can transform a small business. We've emerged from the challenges of COVID-19 stronger and more influential than ever.

As we continue to inspire and thrive in Accra, Ghana, our story serves as a beacon of hope for all entrepreneurs and business owners. It's a reminder that with determination and support, anything is possible. We're living proof that the journey to growth is both challenging and rewarding.

I am Gamel Adam Tabi, the CEO and founder of Gamel Clodin. Our brand is all about celebrating Ghanaian and African culture through high-quality apparel. We cater to Ghanaians and those who have an appreciation for African fashion.

Before the era of COVID-19, our business was flourishing, especially with the significant impact of the "Year of Return." We were producing about 100 pieces of clothing each week, and our outlook was promising. However, when COVID-19 struck, our world took a sudden turn. Our shops were forced to close, and our valued customers had nowhere to go.

In the face of this unprecedented challenge, we were compelled to halt our production. This situation was disheartening, especially considering the livelihoods of our dedicated workforce, the individuals who depend on us. The impact on our team was deeply distressing.

During the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, while browsing on Facebook, I stumbled upon a glimmer of hope. It was the COVID-19 Response Grant offered by the Ghana Enterprises Agency, with support from the World Bank. They were extending grants to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them weather the storm.

I decided to apply, and after several anxious months, I received the text I had been waiting for—the grant was approved. We were granted 30,000 Ghana cedis, equivalent to approximately $4,600. This financial lifeline, backed by the World Bank, was a game-changer for us.

With the grant in hand, we began to rebuild and grow. We expanded our workforce from 12 individuals to an impressive 21, encompassing those at our retail center and skilled tailors in our production unit. We invested in much-needed machinery, including the battenhole machine, and improved the wages of our dedicated staff. This support was a lifeline that we grasped firmly.

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for this timely intervention, and to the Ghana Enterprises Agency and the World Bank for their unwavering commitment to supporting small businesses like ours.

Today, Gamel Clodin stands as a testament to resilience and the remarkable impact that support can have on the resurgence of small enterprises. As we continue our journey of celebrating African culture through fashion, we extend our sincerest thanks to all those who made this possible.


I am Selina Yeboah, a hairstylist based in Agona Swedru, specifically in the area known as Mante Manka Bi. I would like to take a moment to share my journey, which has been significantly transformed through the remarkable Nkosuo program.

When I first learned about the Nkosuo Program, I couldn't contain my excitement. At the time, I was in the midst of renovating my recently acquired hairdressing shop. The prospect of securing a loan through this Program was a lifeline, and without hesitation, I decided to apply.

To give you some context, in the early stages of my hairstyling career, my services were limited primarily to braiding. I operated with just a few small mirrors, and my business had yet to realize its full potential. However, the Nkosuo Program turned out to be a game-changer for me and my salon.

Upon receiving the much-needed financial support, I embarked on a journey of transformation. I used the funds to invest in essential equipment that greatly improved the quality and scope of my services. Among these acquisitions were a professional-grade hair dryer, a convenient washing bowl, and a full-sized mirror that not only enhanced my work but also the overall aesthetics of my shop. Additionally, I utilized part of the funds to fix a stylish glass door for my salon, creating an inviting and appealing atmosphere for my clients.

I must express my deepest gratitude to the Mastercard Foundation and the dedicated team at Ghana Enterprises Agency. Their unwavering support and belief in my potential have had a profound impact on both my business and my life. Thanks to their intervention, my business has experienced a remarkable upswing. I now find myself serving a growing number of satisfied customers, and my salon's reputation continues to soar.

In conclusion, the Nkosuo Program made possible by the Mastercard Foundation and facilitated by Ghana Enterprises Agency has been nothing short of a blessing. It has not only empowered me as an entrepreneur but has also elevated the quality of services I provide to my clients. I want to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt thanks to these organizations for their invaluable assistance. My business is flourishing, my dreams are coming to fruition, and it's all thanks to their unflinching support and belief in the power of small businesses like mine.

Welcome to Meannan Foods, where we've been serving nutritious and convenient meals since our establishment in September 2006 (although our journey began in 2005). I am Charity Annan, the proud founder and CEO of Meannan Foods. Our mission has always been clear; to make life easier for mothers who want to provide their families with wholesome food while still having precious time to spend together.

Our humble beginnings featured just four products. Today, thanks to both customer recommendations and our own creative spirit, we boast a range of 32 products that we're incredibly proud of. From a one-person operation, with me at the helm, we've grown into a team of 33 dedicated employees. Our factory is situated in Mataheko, near Afienya, within the Ningo/Prampram district.

As we all know, the arrival of COVID-19 caught the world off guard. While our sales remained relatively stable, we faced challenges sourcing raw materials and handling logistics due to restrictions on movement. Our export market came to a standstill, significantly impacting our operations. It forced us to re-evaluate our supply chain, prompting us to source raw and packaging materials right here in Ghana.

The pandemic has highlighted the immense potential within the Ghanaian food production industry. People are increasingly seeking naturally processed food, and we're determined to meet this growing demand. Thankfully, we didn't have to lay off any of our hardworking employees. Instead, we provided accommodation for those who traveled long distances, allowing them to stay on-site during the week and return home on weekends. We also made necessary adjustments to salaries while explaining the situation transparently to our team.

Our lifeline during those challenging times, which enabled us to retain our employees and pull through the pandemic came in the form of the COVID-19 Response Grant by the Ghana Enterprises Agency. I learned about it through one of our WhatsApp groups, specifically designed for small businesses. After making a call, I received clear instructions on how to apply. We submitted our proposal online, and thankfully, we were selected as deserving recipients.

In November 2021, we were awarded GHS 105,000 equivalent to $17,000. This generous grant allowed us to invest in a powder packing machine, significantly accelerating our production by over 100%. Additionally, we acquired a sealing machine, streamlining our packaging process. These investments have enabled us to meet customer demands more efficiently than ever before.

We are immensely grateful for the support provided by the COVID response program initiated by the Ghana Enterprises Agency, with the backing of the World Bank. Like Oliver Twist, we find ourselves wanting more support to continue our growth trajectory. We also extend our heartfelt appreciation to the President of Ghana for his unwavering support for small and medium-sized businesses like ours.

At Meannan Foods, we remain committed to our mission of delivering nutritious and convenient meals while contributing to the growth of Ghana's food production industry. We are excited about the future and look forward to serving our loyal customers even better. Thank you for your support and trust in us.

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