Katja Lasseur, Deputy Head of Mission for the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana and her team visited the Ghana CIC on the 5th of February 2019. Her visit to the Ghana CIC is part of a series of visits she will be doing to the various incubator hubs in Ghana receiving funding from the Dutch Government.
In what she described as a working visit, she stated that her visit was aimed at better understanding what the Ghana CIC does, some of the gaps and/or challenges being faced and how the Dutch Government could lend more support to growing businesses in Ghana. She stated that one of the key observations she had made during her visits thus far was the challenge of access to funding by entrepreneurs and she was keen to find out from the entrepreneurs and other stakeholders present the reasons for this and the different solutions that can be put in place to mitigate the difficulty.
“As an embassy, we are phasing out large development programs and we are moving towards trade relations with a big focus on helping young entrepreneurs grow their businesses but not in the old-fashioned way where we hand out grants.” She continued.
In emphasizing the Dutch’s Government commitment in helping young businesses grow, she stated, “We will try and support businesses that are already viable, can grow and can create jobs. If there is financing from the Dutch government, it will be in the form loans that have to be repaid. We have learnt over the years that the grant system is unsustainable and apparently there are quite a few startups that have been hanging around for years just living on incubator grants where they keep hoping from grant to grant.” She added,” This is something that we would rather not contribute to but we are very ready to support businesses that are already in the accelerator stage and would love to grow and create jobs.”