In line with the Global Entrepreneurship Week celebration, the Ministry of Business Development on the 8th November, 2018 in Accra trained over 120 young women entrepreneurs on how to grow their businesses and create jobs.
Under the theme ‘Financial Inclusion for Women Entrepreneurs’, the one day seminar saw the young women undergo training on topics like marketing communications, access to finance, investment, risk management and insurance.
The selected participants are already engaged in manufacturing of food items, cosmetics, footwear, among other trades.
Speaking at the seminar, the Minister for Business Development Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, recounted that this is the first of several training workshops to be organized for young entrepreneurs and more of such will be held in the coming year, 2019.
The Minister allays fear of business failure and encouraged women entrepreneurs to overcome the fear of their businesses failing, saying “don’t allow the fear of failure to bog you down; when you slip and fall, get up and continue”.
He urged them to take advantage of the networking opportunities available even at the training grounds, identify suitable synergies and follow through on them after the sessions.
“Build relationships and connect with each other because they are very important for business success”, Dr. Awal added.
The Minister added that, his Ministry had reached an agreement with the Bank of Africa, a partner in the project “to reduce interest rates in loans for the trainees”.
The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mrs. Cynthia Morrison, announced plans to tackle the plight of vulnerable groups of young people who cart goods at market centers in the central business districts.
The trainees, she noted, will be charged to assist in empowering the vulnerable groups so their lives will also be changed.
“They are vulnerable; exposed to all kinds of vices and dangers so we are going to ensure that they exit what they are doing now, build themselves into more profiting uses and then affect their families and others,” she added.
She advised the women to be moderate in expenses that go into their make-up and rather invest in their businesses.
“We can buy ordinary bags and still carry ourselves very well. We don’t have to buy the brand; we must brand ourselves”, she told the young business women.
The Chief of Staff, Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, a celebrated entrepreneur herself, encouraged the women trainees to take advantage of government’s One District, One Factory initiative and the Planting for Food and Jobs initiative by expanding their enterprises.
“It is not about big money; it is about ideas; every little thing that you need to do, just start with the kind of support that the Ministry for Business Development is giving you to enhance it so that small enterprise will grow so you can employ others”, she advised.
500 PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED WOMEN IN BUSINESS TO BE SUPPORTED
In a related development, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal announced during a health walk, organized by his Ministry, that as part of events marking the Global Entrepreneurship celebration in Ghana, his Ministry is spearheading a special initiative for some 500 physically challenged women entrepreneurs in the country to help them grow their enterprises and help meet government’s financial inclusion agenda.
The Ministry for Business Development is thus set to soon organize a fund-raising event to pool some GH¢2million to support women in business who have one disability or another.
“When you look around the country you see a lot of physically-challenged women; either they are blind, crippled or some form of disability or deformity so we think that we should support such people to help achieve the President’s agenda of improving lives and incomes,” Dr Awal explained.
The health walk, which took participants through some principal streets of Accra, was to draw national attention to the fact that when given the same opportunities available to men, women can also do good business, expand, employ people and create wealth.
The focus on women entrepreneurs, Dr Awal explained is borne out of a charge from President Nana Akufo-Addo (a gender advocate) to build a financially inclusive Ghanaian society.
According to the minister, Ghanaian women are by their nature industrious, trustworthy and results-oriented, “but less than 47 percent of them have access to formal financial services and so they need to be supported to expand their businesses, employ more people and create wealth”.
Some of the placards wielded by the women read ‘Stop the discrimination Now’, ‘Support Ghanaian women Entrepreneurs’, ‘Let’s bridge the financial gap between our male and female Entrepreneurs’, and ‘Boosting Ghanaian businesses – the role of Women Entrepreneurs’.
The women, the minister added, will receive support, in the form of business advisory services, training and bank loans.