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Business News of Friday, 11 January 2013

Source: GNA

Three Ghanaian entrepreneurs get financial support from African Diaspora Marketplace

United State Agency for International Development (USAID) and Western Union have supported the business plans of three Ghanaian entrepreneurs with an amount of $100, 000 each.

The three beneficiaries are Mr Alex Osei-Kwame of Gonja Meat Company, Michael Graffin of Sardis Enterprise International and Kwame Owusu Kyei of Viable Vision Industries.

About 17 US based African Diaspora-driven business in six countries were also awarded matching grants through the African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM).

This was contained in a statement issued and copied to Ghana News Agency by the US Embassy in Accra on Thursday.

The grant is intended to help Gonja Meat Company, an agribusiness engaged in slaughter, processing and sale of fresh hygienic meat to produce high quality and affordable meats using locally raised livestock processed in its abattoir in Kumasi.

Sardis Enterprise International, an international import and export agency of agricultural goods and other products in West Africa would use the grant to establish a strong brand for the Ashanti line of produce, particularly its organic pineapple and expand production and export from approximately 4, 900 to 42, 000 per month this year.

Viable Vision Industries, a commercial mushroom farm also intend to use the grant to set up centres and support programme to train small-scale mushroom producers and hobby growers.

ADM which was launched in 2009 is one of the few public-private initiatives to harness the knowledge and resources of US based African Diaspora businesses and other entrepreneurs to address economic opportunity by increasing access to capital for small-and medium-sized enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa.

Forty entrepreneurs applied for the ADM awards with their business plans addressing high priority and high-impact sectors in Africa.

ADM is jointly funded by USAID, the Western Union Company and the Western Union Foundation.

Other contributing partners include Ecobank, African Capacity Building Foundation, George Washington University for International Business Education and Research, Tony Elumelu Foundation, US Department of State and Irv Barr Management.

The statement said USAID and other development leaders believe that the fight against poverty in Africa is largely a fight against unemployment.

It said establishing innovative, sustainable business initiatives and promoting entrepreneurship generates jobs and capital which is vital to improve the fortunes of generations to come.

Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator noted that ADM serve as a platform to strengthen and help satisfy demand for locally-produced products and services.

“These businesses will buy, sell and hire from within the communities they serve, putting money into the local economy, building local capacity, and fuelling broad-based economic development.

Dr Erieka Bennett, Head of Mission for the African Union Diaspora African Forum expressed excitement to host the second reception to honour the Ghanaian winners of the prestigious award.

The African Union Diaspora African Forum is the first diplomatic mission of its kind endorsed by the AU to support and encourage Diaspora participation in the development of Africa.

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