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Invest in Africa secures USD1 million grant to support SME training program

Invest in Africa (IIA) has signed a USD1 million African Development Bank (AfDB) grant that will enable it to support a unique business skills training programme for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana.

IIA will use the grant provided by the AfDB's Fund for Private Sector Assistance (FAPA) to implement a Business Linkage Programme designed to upgrade the capabilities of selected SMEs registered on IIA's recently launched African Partner Pool (APP) online directory. 

The Business Linkage Programme is the next phase of the APP: an online directory supporting local businesses to gain visibility and connect with international and domestic clients.  The three year training programme will focus on creating long-term and sustainable partnerships by ensuring that local businesses are able to deliver to the quality, time and scale required by large companies. 
The programme will use specialist trainers and IIA Partners including Ecobank, EY, Ghana Guinness Breweries and AB & David to deliver training followed by management coaching and mentoring tailored to the individual needs of each SME.
“By facilitating market development, this training programme will foster SME development and help build competiveness within the industry,” says AfDB's Resident Representative Marie-Laure Akin-Alugbade. 
Beginning in the second quarter of 2015, a total of 120 successful applicants will be selected from companies already registered on the APP for the programme. Those with fully completed profiles and best able to demonstrate their determination to grow, improve governance structures, and meet international standards will have an increased chance of being selected.  
“The programme sets the stage for us to build the capacity of the selected SMEs to position themselves appropriately to be able to increase competitiveness. This will help drive revenue and provide them with a better chance of accessing finance,” says Invest in Africa's Ghana Country Manager, Sam Brandful.
Invest in Africa will also host a number of best practice forums to share knowledge and experience of IIA's partners, graduate SMEs, global experts and investors to continue to raise standards, win business and support other Ghanaian SMEs on how to access new markets and finance.  

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