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.
Access Bank is excited to extend an exclusive invitation to you for the very first edition of the Access Bank - Deloitte Ghana SME Business Interaction Series. This pioneering event is designed with your growth and prosperity in mind, aimed at empowering Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating within the Trade and Distribution Sector.
This unique workshop has been meticulously crafted to provide you with invaluable insights, strategies, and practical knowledge that will elevate your business to new heights. As an SME owner within the Trade and Distribution Sector, you understand the significance of financial empowerment in achieving business resilience and long-term success. This event promises to equip you with the tools you need to not only navigate challenges but also seize opportunities in today's dynamic market.
Seize Your Opportunity: Registration Details
Your presence is crucial to making this event a resounding success. To secure your slot, we kindly request you to register by clicking on the link below:
Registration is absolutely FREE, but the insights and connections you'll gain are invaluable. Don't miss out on this exceptional opportunity to empower your business for a prosperous future.
We look forward to welcoming you to the Access Bank - Deloitte Ghana SME Business Interaction Series.
On February 20th, 2023, the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) and Alliance for Integrity signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to implement the GEA Business Integrity (Pepeye) Project.
The objective of the Project is to adopt a multi-sectoral strategy through advocacy and business development services that make it easier for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), particularly women-owned/led to establish the foundation of a successful Anti-Corruption and compliance programme.
The signing of the MoU to implement this Project solidifies our partnership which started in 2018, a few months after Mrs. Kosi Antwiwaa Yankey-Ayeh’s appointment as the first female Chief Executive Officer of GEA, formerly National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI).
In 2022, Mrs. Kosi Antwiwaa Yankey-Ayeh was elected as the Chair of the Advisory Group in Ghana to lead and champion the Anti-Corruption crusade. The continuous and active engagement with GEA testifies to the fact that we find solutions and become stronger through collective actions.
From the very first meeting, the relevance of the work of Alliance for Integrity with the Ghana Enterprises Agency and above all for GEA’s clients, MSMEs in Ghana, was very clear to Mrs. Kosi Antwiwaa Yankey-Ayeh. Alliance for Integrity's practical approach to strengthening compliance and integrity in the day-to-day activities of firms resonates with the mandate and the priorities of GEA: “The government of Ghana is really committed to Anti-Corruption and transparency and is taking serious steps to address these issues and our Agency has a concrete mandate for a transformation that supports MSMEs”.
One of her priorities has been looking at Anti-Corruption with a gender lens: “There is a growing share of women entrepreneurs in Ghana who want to do things right and are keen to support each other”. Mrs. Kosi Antwiwaa Yankey-Ayeh is convinced that women are powerful change agents in the promotion of integrity and has therefore been a driving force behind the Alliance for Integrity Women for Integrity Series (WISe). Together with Alliance for Integrity Ghana and other partners, considerable work has already been done with others in progress and even more to be taken up. The WISe series has grown up to have more participants, partners, and a focused working group for designing an “Ethical Negotiation Training Toolkit” and Regional Exchanges with Asia and Latin America. Mrs. Kosi Antwiwaa Yankey-Ayeh said that “GEA is interested in actively using the WISe platform to reach out to stakeholders and work together in transforming the business environment. She argues that the degree of involvement of the informal sector in trade is often underestimated. Companies are extremely intertwined nowadays, and these linkages are rapidly expanding.
Small and informal firms in remote places are often connected to international supply chains in one way or another. Corruption increases the costs of business, especially for MSMEs, and hinders their ability for business and trade. Promoting transparency and integrity means creating more opportunities for small firms to do business, including for women-led firms. The MSMEs in Ghana widely share the view that there is a business case for integrity, but the case can only be won if all relevant actors work together. The MSMEs are interested in participating because collective action provides the leverage to deal with administrative and procurement integrity obstacles that cannot be solved individually. More so, they welcome having a forum to discuss challenges and co-create solutions to navigate difficult situations.
GEA continually underscores that the goal of its Anti-Corruption engagement is to create a business environment in which Ghana’s MSMEs can succeed and thrive. Working at the grassroots level and using the convening ability of GEA to create a space for difficult conversations have been key elements for the successful collaboration with the Alliance for Integrity. Even the smallest of firms in Ghana is in a position to name corruption challenges, but the issues do not come up and cannot be systematically addressed without a safe forum for discussions and the stewardship of the public sector. This can be done by providing training materials, developing exchange formats, and fostering the international exchange of experiences in dealing with corruption.
The Alliance for Integrity Secretariat has been instrumental in making the best use of these spaces. Going forward, GEA will be engaging with partners within the Alliance for Integrity network and those others in the Ghanaian business environment to continually push the collective action agenda for more complaint business engagements based on its partnership with AfIn and in line with its mandates.