Small and growing businesses within the oil palm, cocoa and artisanal gold mining sectors recently participated in a two-week training programme supported by Solidaridad West Africa in partnership with the International Labour Organization’s Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprise (ILO-SCORE).
The training forms part of a broader strategy by Solidaridad to create viable avenues for private investors who are looking for opportunities to invest in these particular sectors. It combines practical classroom sessions with on-site consulting.
The SCORE training sets out to:
- demonstrate the best international practices in the manufacturing and service sectors
- equip small and medium-sized enterprises to participate in global supply chains
- improve the productivity and working conditions of businesses.
The partnership with ILO-SCORE allows Solidaridad, through its business accelerator Value Forward, to strengthen the capacity of participating small and growing businesses to help them overcome challenges that could otherwise hinder their readiness to take advantage of financing opportunities.
Currently, six companies are participating in SCORE under Solidaridad’s cocoa and oil palm programmes, CORIP II and SWAPP II, with funding from the Dutch and Swiss governments.
The companies are:
- Nat-K Royal Company Limited
- Agro Quorum Limited, B-BOVID
- Emfed Farms Limited
- Spring Farms and Processing Limited
- Center for Women Empowerment
To drive sustainable change in the agriculture sector, and to improve the livelihoods of smallholders, we need private investors to invest in a critical mass of small and growing businesses in the sector. For this to happen, the return expectations of investors and smallholders must be met.
– Hammond Mensah, Impact Investment Manager, Solidaridad West Africa
Fatima Ewudzie is the president of the Center for Women Empowerment, a gender-based palm fruit processing organization located in the Central Region of Ghana. Her organization is receiving support under Solidaridad’s oil palm programme, SWAPP II, to improve productivity and competitiveness.
Our objective is to improve production, but we lack the necessary investment in our operations. With the knowledge gained from the training, we are streamlining our systems to make us ready to receive support from potential investors.
– Fatima Ewudzie, President of the Center for Women Empowerment
Solidaridad’s global business accelerator, Value Forward, prepares small and growing businesses with an expected investment need of 50,000–250,000 euros for investment.
Now, in a strategic partnership with PlusPlus, a crowdfunding platform with its headquarters in Europe, Value Forward aims to invest in small and growing businesses with demonstrated growth potential, as well as positive social and environmental impact.
Value Forward will launch additional accelerators between 2020 and 2022 in the other parts of the world.
Learn more about Solidaridad’s impact investment programme