The Nkosuo programme, a partnership between the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and the Mastercard Foundation to support micro, small and medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Ghana, has been launched.

Development Diaries gathered that the country’s Deputy Minister of Trade and Industries, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, launched the programme.

Mastercard Foundation is understood to have committed an initial GHS 90 million to provide financial assistance, in the form of grants and soft loans, via banks, fintechs, mobile lenders, non-governmental organisations, and business development services.

The foundation, in a statement, said that the amount and type of financial support that will be provided to eligible, qualified MSMEs, both in the formal and informal sectors, will vary depending on the size of an enterprise, need, and repayment capacity.

The Nkosuo programme will focus on supporting the MSMEs and startups that need assistance to survive the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses providing services that have the potential to meet the growing demands of communities during and after the pandemic, and businesses that will focus on digitisation to support MSMEs.

‘Covid-19 has challenged the world’s economic system and every country has felt its brute force…The biggest casualties are MSMEs, especially those in the informal sector, which constitutes about 80 percent of the productive sector of the Ghanaian economy’, the statement quoted Ahomka-Lindsey as saying.

‘The Nkosuo programme will complement the government’s intervention and contribute to the collective effort to enable businesses, particularly MSMEs, to recover from the economic shock of the pandemic.

‘We are grateful to the Mastercard Foundation for this timely partnership and programme’.

Regional Head for Western, Central, and Northern Africa at Mastercard Foundation, Nathalie Akon Gabala, said, ‘Enabling access to soft credit and business advisory services to MSMEs, especially those owned and managed by women and young people, is critical to building resilience and providing a pathway to economic recovery post Covid-19’.

‘The Nkosuo programme enables us to directly impact the nerve centre of Ghana’s economy- MSMEs’.

The Nkosuo programme is designed to have a one-year moratorium and a two-year repayment period.

Source: Mastercard

Photo source: Carsten ten Brink

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