The Venture Capital Trust Fund (VCTF) has secured an approval for GHS35 million to support the growth and development of women-owned Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), the Chief Executive Officer of the VCTF, Yaw Owusu-Brempong, has said.
Speaking with journalists on the sidelines of a SME Roundtable to discuss Venture Capital as an alternative Finance Source for SME Growth, Mr Owusu-Brempong said the fund would be managed by a woman while the venture capital investment would also be managed by women-owned firms and businesses.
‘The move is aimed at encouraging more of our women entrepreneurs and the funds come with a 10 year-period where the first five years will focus on investments while the remaining five years will go towards nurturing the businesses to grow in order to reach their full potential after which the fund manager will exit,’ he said.
He said the VCTF was keen on the growth and development of women-led and women-owned businesses, adding ‘When our women are doing something, they do it very well but most at times we tend to see most of our businesses in the SME sector being dominated by men so we [VCTF] want to give that confidence and opportunity to women businesses to further boost their growth’.
‘…So, the funding will not just be given to companies being owned by women but ones that are being managed by women while the products and services they provide will beneficial to all,’ he concluded.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), Seth Twum Akwaboah called for increased capitalisation of the Venture Capital Trust Fund to boost Small and Medium Scale Enterprises growth in Ghana.
He said a recapitalisation of the VCTF was necessary to ensure access to the needed support for their growth.
‘If you look at the number of businesses that are registered in Ghana and their growth trajectory, it is huge…Today we have the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement which provides the opportunity of exporting to other African markets and we must take advantage of this to recapitalize to conduct big ticket business to operate in a commercial and competitive manner,’ Mr Akwaboah said.
He called on SMEs to enhance their governance the structures enhance access to the funds.
‘Governance, management, transparency, record keeping and the other necessary issues which are essential elements of business operations and principles must be tackled by the SMEs’ to secure the needed funding from the VCTF,’ he said.
He called for technical support for particularly new SMEs to boost their in-depth knowledge of business operations to propel their growth.
The VCTF is backed by an Act of Parliament (VCTF Act 2004 (Act 680) and deploys funds to promote venture capital financing to create a vibrant and well-structured venture capital industry with investments in various sectors to create wealth and job creation.
Source: Ghana News Agency