The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Societe Generale Ghana PLC (SG Ghana) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to encourage and support innovators, especially small businesses led by the youth, towards sustainable development.
They would also support innovations from women, and persons with disability (PWDs) to ensure easy access to investors and markets for products and services.
The partnership is aimed at leveraging the expertise and resources of both institutions to provide a tailored programme, including capacity building, mentorship, business to business matching, and pitching masterclasses investors.
“Partnership plays a critical role in accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 and the UNDP is committed to working with the private sector and all actors to unlock SDG-aligned investments for greater impact,” Dr Angela Lusigi, the UNDP Resident Representative in Ghana, said after signing the (MoU).
She said the partnership was very important as it would support national actions to expand employment opportunities for the youth, women, and PWDs for shared prosperity.
As part of the partnership, the UNDP Accelerator Lab, SG Innov8 Hub and SG Home of Business will be leading efforts to co-create opportunities for innovators to scale-up to penetrate markets beyond the shores of Ghana.
Dr Lusigi told the Ghana News Agency that the partnership would leverage UNDP’s expertise in working with grassroots innovators, and SG Ghana’s expertise in supporting businesses and entrepreneurs.
Under the agreement, the UNDP through its Accelerator Lab, and SG Ghana through its Innov8 Hub and the SG Home of Business, will run the Inclusive Entrepreneurship Partnership, taking innovators through capacity building, and free use of its services.
She said participating entrepreneurs would include a selection of 22 grassroot innovators who would be receiving funding and technical support through the UNDP Accelerator Lab COVID-19 Innovation Challenge and other innovators and entrepreneurs selected by the UNDP.
It is expected that at least 50 per cent of innovators supported would gain increased traction to scale up their innovations.
Mr Hakim Ouzzani, the Managing Director of SG Ghana PLC, said the partnership had the unique expertise in working with grassroots innovators to broaden the Bank’s reach and support new initiatives.
By Florence Afriyie Mensah, GNA