The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) support through Feed the Future Ghana Market Systems and Resilience (MSR) Activity, has announced its $500,000 Innovative Finance Grant Window to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Northern Ghana.
The MSR Innovative Finance Grant Window will support development and economic growth in the targeted crop value chains such as maize, shea, bambara beans, soybeans, cowpea, groundnut, moringa, mango, and vegetables and their value addition in 17 designated districts across the Northern, North East, Upper West and Upper East regions.
This innovation provides additional incentives for opportunities that facilitate financing women, youth, and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs)
The Agribusiness and Financial Services team leader of the MSR, Mr Raymond Denteh, disclosed this in a presentation at a public roadshow in Accra on Friday.
He noted that the programme aims to harness private lender resources to enable enhanced access to finance, input supply, and business development services that boost agriculture-led economic growth.
“The Innovative Finance Grant Window targets three main categories namely Financial Institutions including commercial banks, micro-finance institutions, rural banks, and Nonbank financial institutions including impact investors, financial technology companies, etc; as well as agric service providers including input and business development service providers” he emphasized.
He noted that the grants are designed to reduce the cost of agricultural lending, improve the liquidity of financial service providers, and encourage more agriculture service providers to offer targeted financial services to SMEs in USAID’s 17-district zone of influence within Ghana’s four Northern regions.
The Deputy Chief of Party for the programme, Mr Cecil Osei in an interview with the media also revealed that the Innovation Finance Grant Window will incentivise Financial Service Providers (FSPs) to mobilise $18.5M in credit and capital by the end of the project.
“It will provide incentive payments to FSPs that increase access to finance for Micro-Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) and increase uptake of inputs to intensify agricultural production in Northern Ghana,” he hinted.
On eligibility, he announced that applicants must be those who actively provide financial services in Northern Ghana within the USAID’s 17- district zone of influence and do not have any active exclusions in www.sam.gov, United Nations, World Bank, or other international compliance databases.
“Eligible applicants must be officially registered and working in compliance with all applicable civil and fiscal regulations, including but not limited to pertinent local laws and status, and must have a National Tax Identification Number and any requisite permits, licences, and registrations required,” he added.
Prospective applicants for the Innovative Finance Grant Window must submit their applications through email@example.com before 31st July, 2023
The Ghana MSR Activity is a five-year activity implemented by a consortium of partners led by ACDI/VOCA, focusing on strengthening commercial relationships between market actors namely Outgrower Businesses, smallholder farmers, producers, processors, buyers, input suppliers and lenders to expand agribusiness in Ghana’s Northern Regions.
Richard Aniagyei, ISD