Liberia: Growth Accelerator Liberia Opens Applications for Phase III
-Targets 15 small local businesses in MSMEs, agricultural cooperatives, and Clean/Renewable Energy
The government of Liberia and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) have for the third year launched phase III of their Growth Accelerator project with the aim of supporting impactful Liberian entrepreneurs to scale up their ventures through access to technical assistance, mentorship, and co-financing of up to US$40,000.
The Growth Accelerator Liberia Program is a business and agricultural cooperative accelerator, targeting impactful and innovative ventures and cooperatives in Liberia across all industries. The program targets post-revenue businesses and cooperatives to assist them in scaling and growing with a combination of Co-financing grants, mentorship, and technical assistance.
The project was launched on Friday in Monrovia by UNDP and its partners, and it is expected to add a clean/renewable energy component to impactful Liberian MSMEs and Agricultural Cooperatives.
The Growth Accelerator Liberia is a UNDP and Government of Liberia initiative under the Livelihood and Employment Creation project implemented by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.
As the third round of the competition kicks off, the UNDP plans to invest over a million dollars in 15 successful businesses, agricultural cooperatives, and clean energy companies in 2023.
The phase IIII of the program was launched by the Minister of Commerce, Marwine Diggs and UNDP outgoing Country Representative, Stephen Rodrigues.
Rodrigues noted that MSMEs are the driving forces of every economy around the world, and it was against this backdrop that the program was initiated to have a similar impact in the country. “We want to help local entrepreneurs build sustainable institutions through financial and technical Support,” he said, “Our goal is to see young, vibrant, and enterprising Liberians become the pillars of the country’s economy. That is the goal of the growth accelerator program.”
The outgoing UNDP boss noted that Liberia has the potential, resources, and talents to become a great nation. “What is left for Liberia and Liberians to achieve their potential is massive investment in the young people.
Minister Diggs said that the program has been a great initiative as it has helped to empower more young people, who are doing tremendously since they subscribed to the program in the first two years.
“This program has been the heartbeat of not only this ministry but the government,” she said. “Any initiative that seeks to empower Liberians, especially the young people, and help alleviate poverty among our people gets us excited. And we are grateful to the UNDP and other partners for this initiative.”
“We are delighted to announce the successful launch of the third cohort of our Growth Accelerator Liberia Program. MSMEs and businesses that are focused on Clean/Renewable Energy can now start to apply,” Luther Jeke, the Executive Officer iCampus Liberia Luther Jeke said this year, iCampus, the lead implementer of the program, said.
“We are excited to announce the addition of a new cohort focused on Clean/ Renewable Energy. Jeke indicated that Growth Accelerator Liberia remains dedicated to providing unrivaled resources and support to scale these ventures.
"We would like to extend thanks to the UNDP Liberia and the Ministry of Commerce & Development for the continuous support, & we're excited to continue empowering local entrepreneurs." Jeke added.
Companies can now start to apply for the other two components of the program, Jeke disclosed that applications for the Agricultural cooperatives cohort are closed, and that cooperatives that will participate in this program’s year program have already been selected by UNDP through its.
However, the program recently announced a renewal of the Responsible Party Agreement (RPA) with UNDP Liberia to design, run and manage the Growth Accelerator Liberia Program for the third consecutive year.
The current Growth Accelerator Liberia Program Liberian businesses and Cooperatives- across seven counties: Montserrado, Lofa, Grand Cape Mount, Nimba, Grand Bassa, Sinoe and Grand Gedeh - by providing access to technical Liberia Program is aimed at supporting impactful assistance, mentorship, and co-financing.
Under the second round of the competition, UNDP invested nearly USD 860,000 in seven successful businesses and five agricultural cooperatives in 2022. It saw an agricultural component added to the only MSME component that consisted of the maiden phase.
The Growth Accelerator Liberia is designed to help revenue-generating small and medium-sized enterprises and commercially inclined agricultural cooperatives to scale-up their operations and contribute substantially to national economic development through increased revenues and job creation. It is a component of the Livelihood & Employment Creation Project, a broader program of the UNDP.
The UNDP has entered into a MOU with banking institutions, United Bank for Africa (UBA) and International Bank Liberia Limited (IBL-L) to link beneficiaries with the financial institutions.
Interested individuals are however, being urged to take advantage of the program and become empowered.“If you would like to access up to $40,000 USD and technical assistance to scale your business can visit growlib.org and all applications must be submitted via the website. The application period officially ends May 31, 2023,” Jeke said.