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.
The Government of Ghana, through the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA), celebrated the achievements and impact of its Technical Assistance and Grant Programmes for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) on August 3, 2023. The event brought together gallant entrepreneurs from diverse sectors to recognize and support the growth of these businesses.
The Technical Assistance and Grant Programmes include the Youth in MSME, Women MSME, and the SME High Growth Programmes, all of which are funded by the World Bank under the Ghana Economic Transformation Project.
The SME High Growth Programme, which was piloted in October 2022 has been focused on technical assistance which involves a 4-month intensive business management training and capacity upgrade/mentoring plan. The SME High Growth Programme has now been implemented at full scale across the country since May 2023 following a successful pilot of the Programme. With the target to assist 2,000 High Growth SMEs across the country, the programme aims to boost productivity and competitiveness, enabling these businesses to scale up their operations, increase sales, and create sustainable jobs.
Additionally, the Youth in MSME Programme has extended the age limit to 40 years, encompassing young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 to 40. This extension allows for greater inclusivity, welcoming businesses that previously could not participate due to age restrictions.
Furthermore, the Women MSME Programme exclusively supports female-owned enterprises, fostering gender diversity and empowerment within the business community.
Addressing the audience, the Honorable Minister expressed delight in announcing the 270 selected companies, ranging from Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, who have been awarded over GHS35 million in grants to fund various projects. These projects encompass machinery and equipment purchases, working capital, and last-mile infrastructure investments.
The Ghana Economic Transformation Project's past interventions have showcased remarkable success, with over GHS 65 million disbursed/committed to nearly 800 SMEs between September 2021 and January 2023. Notably, approximately 40 percent of the funding went to women-owned enterprises, emphasizing the importance of gender-balanced support for business growth.
Through the interventions, over 3,195 jobs have been sustained and created by 311 supported firms, a testament to the positive impact on job creation and economic growth in the region.
The Grant Programmes target MSMEs across various sectors, including Agriculture/Agro-processing, Construction, Education, Food and Beverages, Healthcare, ICT, Manufacturing, Textiles and Garments, Tourism and hospitality, Trade/Commerce in locally produced goods, and Transport and Logistics.
Ghana Enterprises Agency remains committed to supporting the growth and development of MSMEs, aiming to transform them into large Enterprises, that contribute significantly to Job creation and Economic Prosperity.