4th Cohort Applications open under Growth Accelerator

MONROVIA: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Growth Accelerator Liberia has launched the 4th Cohort of the Micro-Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) at the Ministry of Commerce & Industry Conference Room ministerial complex in Congo town.

Applications for the 4th cohort are open from 28 May 2024 until 21st June. Interested applicants may apply through https://growlib.org/. In this fourth cohort, there will be three categories: general MSMEs, Agriculture Cooperatives and Forest-based with support from the Delegation of the European Union to Liberia and the Swedish Embassy in Liberia for the first time.

“Fifty-seven (57) applicants will be selected where 14 out of 23 general MSMEs will receive a co-financing of USD 10,000 each, 5 to receive USD 20,000 each and four to receive USD 40,000 each.

“Thirty (30) applicants will be for the forest-based category while four will be Agriculture Cooperatives under the UNDP Accelerated Community Development Programme (ACDP)” explained the iCampus Liberia CEO Luther D. Jeke who added that all candidates/applicants will also benefit from capacity building, coaching/mentorship, and co-financing grants.

UNDP Resident Representative a.i Louis Kuukpen noted, “MSMEs are key drivers of Liberia’s future development and growth and I strongly believe in the Liberian dream. The Liberian dream is marked with a future where women’s potentials are unlocked through their involvement in innovative SMEs leveraging this great nation’s vast resources and potentials.”

Mr. Kuukpen spoke at the launch and added that Growth Accelerator Liberia is dedicated exclusively to supporting and financing more than 30 women-owned/managed MSMEs in the general business and agricultural cooperatives categories.

The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Hon. Amin Modad reassured development partners and investors that the ministry will do its part in this partnership to create a new environment for Liberian entrepreneurship focusing on value addition and creating a protective environment by digitalizing business registrations to processing the Import Permit Declaration (IPD).

He added the ministry is reforming its inspectorate to create a more effective, well-structured and strategized ministry.

Mr. Modad further expressed the ministry’s gratitude for the support it gets from development partners and investors to support the economic growth of the country through the MSMEs.

The UNDP Liberia Livelihood and Employment Creation programme Coordinator, Abraham Tumbey noted that Liberian businesses are stuck because of the lack of technical skills and access to finance.

He said it was after a feasibility study that his team together with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry concluded on Growth Accelerator Liberia to assist in providing technical skills needed to build and scale up a business.

Implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Accountability Lab (iCampus), the UNDP Growth Accelerator business development competition is entering its fourth year with support for post-revenue-generating businesses, expanding to cover agricultural cooperatives and forest-based enterprises.

The launch included the signing and renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Bank Liberia Limited (IBLL), United Bank for Africa (UBA) Liberia, Bloom Bank Africa and Ecobank Liberia Ltd as investment partners to the programme.

Representatives from these banks present at the launch affirmed their commitment to continue to support the MSMEs through the Growth Accelerator programme.

Further, the development partners present, the Swedish embassy in Liberia and the European Union in Liberia thanked UNDP for the initiative and restated their commitment to supporting the programme.

The Growth Accelerator Liberia is designed to help post-revenue-generating small and medium-sized enterprises and commercially inclined agricultural cooperatives/forest-based enterprises to scale up their operations and contribute substantially to national economic development through increased revenues and job creation.

As a result, two businesses from Cohort 2 have employed two persons with disabilities (PWDs) to create a livelihood.

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