The programme forms part of a partnership between the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) and the Mastercard Foundation and focuses on supporting MSMEs and start-ups in sectors such as Agriculture and Agro-businesses, Water and Sanitation, and Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals.
Other sectors are Garment and Personal Protective Equipment, the Creative Arts Industry, Manufacturing, Food and Beverage, among others to recover from the economic shock of the pandemic.
The beneficiaries, who received amounts not exceeding GH¢2,000, are those who have micro businesses such as food vendors, barbers, beauticians and dressmakers.
A statement from the partners said the funds were paid into mobile money wallets of the beneficiaries irrespective of their network operators.
The amount received by beneficiaries, both in the formal and informal sector, varies depending on the size of the enterprise, need and repayment capacity based on information they shared on the technology platform.
“These current disbursements cater for the grant component of the Nkosuo Programme. Those that fall under the loan component are currently being assessed and disbursements will commence this week. We remain hopeful that available funds will be able to serve the target number of beneficiaries and even exceed. We urge beneficiaries to be patient as we work on assessing the record applications received,” Mrs. Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Executive Director of NBSSI said.
The interest rate for the loan component under the programme is 7 per cent. There will also be a one-time processing fee of 2.5 per cent of the loan amount to be deducted from loan amount by the bank.
Irrespective of the amount approved, the program provides for a moratorium period up to 12 months and a repayment period of up to 24 months.
“We wish to use this opportunity to advise against the actions of persons who may want to defraud unsuspecting applicants. It is instructive to note that the Board and the Mastercard Foundation have not contracted anybody or group of people to collect charges on their behalf or to bill applicants with any new charges,” the statement said.
Most importantly, the NBSSI and Mastercard Foundation, will under no circumstance ask any applicant to make payments before an application is considered, it added.
The statement urged applicants to report any suspicious requests or demands to the Police or nearest Business Advisory Centre (BAC) in the District of the concerned applicant.