Dignitaries present at the launch
The Deputy Minister of Trade & Industry, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, has launched the second edition of the Ghana Women Entrepreneurship Summit (GWES), with a clarion call on stakeholders of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to take pragmatic steps towards empowering women entrepreneurs in the country.
He noted that addressing the socio-economic needs of women who form the majority of Ghana’s population require careful planning and targeting to ensure that policies formed by state actors go a long way to bridge the existing economic gaps on the basis of gender.
“It is the case in Ghana that women are slightly more than men in terms of population, but they are half the skills set, half the capability and half of the future,” Mr. Ahomka-Lindsay said.
Platforms such as the GWES, he explained, were therefore necessary to help identify the unique challenges of women who are heterogeneous due to their differing needs and preferences.
The 202O GWES event billed for November this year is being organised by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation under the Young Africa Works Initiative.
The event seeks to bring women entrepreneurs together to, among other things, exchange ideas and dialogue on the implication of government policies on their businesses. It is under the theme: ‘Women Entrepreneurs: The Cornerstone of Economic Resilience’.
While MSMEs account for 70 per cent of GDP, the deputy minister said it was important to ensure that 80 per cent of the enterprises which fall within the micro-sector are formalised and elevated through the introduction of pragmatic solutions such as digitalisation and provision of stimulus packages for enterprises.
The Deputy Executive Director of NBSSI, Anna Armo-Himbson, also said the outcome of previous GWES events which encouraged women to take requisite actions to move businesses forward had led to the planning and implementation of interventions that seek to improve access to business development services, finance, domestic and international markets as well as regulatory support for operations.
The NBSSI, she said, is committed to ensuring that women entrepreneurs are well catered for in the design and implementation of packages for businesses.
The Chairperson of the Investment Committee of Mastercard Foundation-NBSSI COVID-19 Resilience Programme, Mary Brown, said beyond the need for growing businesses owned by women, there was the need to improve their resilience to enable women entrepreneurs to withstand uncertainties.
She commended the Mastercard Foundation for their continuous support of helping grow businesses in Ghana and on the African continent.
By Issah Mohammed