Enhancing Growth In New Enterprises (ENGINE)

 

Context

In developing economies such as Ghana’s, Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) provide the vast majority of jobs, and there is good evidence that the growth of young, small firms such as these is a driver of economic growth. However MSEs in Ghana experience little to no growth and have a low success rate of transformation from MSEs to larger, more productive companies. While business enabling environment constraints play a significant role, the failure of such companies to grow is also due to lack of awareness of the right practices to follow; and an inability to access the right information and support to develop. This includes access to finance, as well as access to business development services and to the peer-to-peer networks that help incubate small businesses.

 

Strategy

ENGINE, a multiyear project implemented by TechnoServe with funding from the UK Government seeks to equip MSEs with the necessary skills and resources to improve their business plans and internal operations, while creating a thriving community of entrepreneurs through increased access to business development services and financial services for MSEs.

 

Activities and Anticipated Results

ENGINE will achieve its objectives through the interaction of two integrated components:

 

Business Plan Competition (BPC) – The most promising entrepreneurs will be awarded grants in the form of in-kind payments that will aid in financing the needs highlighted in the entrepreneur’s business plans and essentially refine the business model of the firm.

 

Entrepreneur Aftercare – Provision of mentoring, networking and other business development services to 500 finalists (including grant awardees). This will provide support to firms and foster an environment where start-ups and early stage ventures have the networks among themselves to share knowledge that can help them refine and improve their business models.

 

Over the life of the project, ENGINE expects to achieve the following:

  • Increased revenue growth of over 500 MSEs by an average of 400%;
  • Creation of over 1,770 new jobs;
  • 300 start-ups will gain access to finance through links to investors or financial institutions with at least a third (25% of programme participants) of these successful in securing commercial financial investment in their business ventures; and
  • Creation of a sustainable alumni network to promote effective networking and collaboration.