Women in business have been urged to take advantage of business opportunities and take on risks in order to excel.
Currently, women constitute the majority of small business owners in the informal sector across the African continent but are among the poorest.
Speaking on a special edition of Citi Fm’s consumer focused show, Business Today, dedicated to the celebration of International Women’s Day, the CEO of Edel Technologies; Ethel Cofie revealed that women are mostly reluctant when it comes to taking advantage of business opportunities.
According to her, most women across the African continent are limited by their cultural background hence, allow opportunities to bypass them.
“I ran ‘Women in Tech Africa’ where we have women in 30 African countries. One of the things we have found is that it is more difficult for women to lift their hands to say yes I will take that opportunity”, she said.
Mrs. Cofie, who is also a Fellow for President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), explained that while a man with only 30 percent of a skill set will venture into a business opportunities, women, on the other hand will wait until they can meet about 80 to 90 percent of the same skill set before they apply for a particular job.
She stated that there has been many times where her network has encouraged business women in good positions to take advantage of a particular business venture but to no avail.
“For instance, CIO East Africa which is one of the biggest tech magazines wanted to find women who were chief information officers to be on the front page of their magazine,..nobody showed up even though we had successful women CEOs on our platform”, she said.
On her part, CEO of Women’s World Banking Ghana, Charlotte Lilly Baidoo who was also on the show, urged women not to be intimated by men in a working environment.
She pointed out that women in business must also see change as part of the business cycle and not hesitate to move on to a higher level when opportunity beckons.
Touching on how to start a new business, CEO of MSimps, Mabel Simpson maintained that businesswomen must be ready to sacrifice time and money to expand their businesses.
“I started MSimps with just 200 cedis and back then I was earning 350”, she said adding that “it is through determination, sacrifice and hard work”.
Mrs. Simpson, a renowned designer, stressed that a savings habit could propel a potential business owner to expand her enterprise for more profit.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana