Solidaridad Develops Innovative Business Incubator for Small-Scale Gold Miners

Solidaridad is developing an innovative business incubator, the Accelerator for Responsible Gold, in response to the fast global growth of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). The Accelerator will more rapidly scale up best practices in the small-scale mining sector by improving the quality and availability of services that miners need to operate responsibly.

Why the Accelerator is innovative

To date, most improvement projects in the small-scale mining sector have focused on interventions at the mine level. This is essential because it’s where the biggest impacts and opportunities for improvement are found. However, inputs like knowledge, equipment and credit, that are often needed by miners to improve their practices are not available in the local market. Once miners who depend on support from grant funding complete an improvement programme, they may be left with no alternative but to turn back to informal service providers and middlemen, who too often use exploitative terms. So, when a grants-based improvement project ends, there’s a big chance that the improvement will end, too.

Well-aligned with interests of buyers and investors

With the Accelerator, Solidaridad will focus on the main barriers to scaling up good practices in the small-scale sector to date: the lack of local services tailored to the miners’ needs and lack of access to long-term capital. Importantly, the Accelerator will build the business case at small-scale mines and among service providers for responsible practices that are well-aligned with the interests of gold buyers, credit providers and investors. This will ensure that improvements will be locally owned and sustained into the future.

First local incubator in Ghana

While the Accelerator is a global initiative, the core of the work will take place at the local level in countries with a significant presence of small-scale mining. Solidaridad will launch the first country-level incubator in Ghana in 2019. The incubator will enable 70 service providers to deliver best practice knowledge, equipment and financing to over 6,000 small miners in Ghana. Design work for this launch is ongoing now. Two additional countries will be added by 2020.

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Support us in the project implementation!

During this design phase of the project, Solidaridad is inviting partners to support us in the project implementation. We are looking for visionary partners who want to accelerate good practices in the sector by thinking big and applying innovative models and who believe that a market approach is the best long-term solution.

Learn more about Solidaridad’s global gold programme.