Gamma Energie Limited, a manufacturing and recycling firm run by Emmanuel Assam who is part of the Kufuor Young Entrepreneurs Network (K-YEN) has secured support from the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) to expand.
The programme has allocated 10,000 Cedis soft loan to the firm after a vigorous application process. The firm submitted a business plan along with several other institutions to be considered for the loan. They then had to defend their application in a pitch, and then the state agency awarded them the money after due diligence. The soft-loan is expected to be paid back after 2-years at a reduced interest rate.
The National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) is a flagship policy initiative of the government of Ghana with the primary objective of providing an integrated national support for start-ups and small businesses. NEIP primarily focuses on providing business development services; startup incubators and funding for young businesses to enable them grow and become successful.
Gamma Energie Limited has used the amount to acquire various equipment to boost its operations. “It’s a good idea that such programmes are rolled out so that young entrepreneurs can start cultivating the habit of accountability early on,” Mr. Assam who runs the firm observed.
Gamma Energie Limited which has a staff strength of 10 started in 2015. The firm works to convert waste to energy, provide improved cooking and heating systems, and engages in afforestation which it hopes will contribute to improving the livelihood of consumers and protect the environment for future generations.
It provides clean, affordable energy from renewable sources to homes and small medium enterprises across Ghana and other global communities using sustainable practices. Gamma Energie Limited collects agro-forestry biomass waste including dust, palm kernel shells, coconut husk and rice husk in local communities and recycle them into briquettes, which serve as an alternative to wood-charcoal usage.
“We hope through our efforts, we can help slow-down deforestation in Ghana from the standpoint of heavily depending on wood (trees) as a source fuel, as well as support the waste management sector,” Assam said. “We are hoping that we can be one of the shinning examples to other entrepreneurs in Ghana and the African continent that it is possible to be successful and have a sustainable business approach in the green and circular economy, especially in the energy and agriculture sector,” he explained.
Assam says participating in the Kufuor Young Entrepreneurs Network (K-YEN) programme greatly boosted their capacity to be able to secure this money. The K-YEN is an initiative of the John A. Kufuor Foundation to support young and fledging Ghanaian entrepreneurs to become future captains of industry. The network seeks to assist young entrepreneurs in consolidating and building sustainable enterprises through capacity building activities including mentoring, coaching, training seminars and accessing of finance.
The Kufuor Young Entrepreneurs Network was introduced in 2018 with 20 entrepreneurs who are committed to being transformed while on the program. It’s a 3-year mentoring and entrepreneurial leadership support package that seeks to bridge gaps for young entrepreneurs, provide access to affordable credit and grants and provide a platform for exhibition of their wares and services.
“As young entrepreneurs, it can be very beneficial for us to have organizations like K-YEN who take genuine interest in our efforts, and play a hand-holding role to connect us to their own network of professionals and supporters, which in turn grows our own network as entrepreneurs,” Assam said.