The Ministry of Trade and Industry says as part of plans to move women entrepreneurs from the micro to larger-scale businesses, it will focus on making funds meant to grow businesses accessible to them.
Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka Lindsay said this at the launch of the 2020 Ghana Women Entrepreneurship Summit, in Accra on Monday, September 28, 2020.
The National Board for Small Scale Industries, the board in charge of distributing funds meant for the growth of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation held the first summit in 2018, bringing together key stakeholders in the entrepreneurial space to, among others, assess the progress of women entrepreneurs within the context of economic empowerment.
Robert Ahomka Lindsay said it’s time for women entrepreneurs to run their businesses on a larger scale.
“When it’s informal, it makes touching them with policies the most difficult because they are not part of the system. If you’re not part of the system and I want to induce certain behaviour by helping you, how do I touch you? That is where it becomes critical that when the summit looks at these challenges we don’t forget the basics. Please, let’s not look at the 5% or 10% at the top that have a structured business environment, that is not the opportunity. The opportunity is the whole government across the board and our biggest challenge is moving them from the micro-level and the reality is that micro-level will not develop this country to the level we need to. No country has developed on micro-scale. I know of small and medium but not micro,” he said.
He added that, the summit is deliberately targeted at making sure that women are represented on a larger scale.
“When I was privileged enough to launch the fund, one media person asked if men can apply and I said, of course, they can. It is not targeted at women alone but it is designed just as we have in the cap because there are unique indices and parameters to make sure that those inhibitors mean they are misrepresented in our final selection. That is the objective because women are more than half our population because we want all hands on deck,” he added.
Over 70% of businesses in Ghana fall under the micro-scale enterprise.
Out of this figure, majority of the businesses which are categorized under the informal sector are women-owned.
For this reason, the Ghana Women Entrepreneurship Summit aims at providing the platform for discussions on finding innovative ways of accelerating the pace of women entrepreneurs in the country in the interest of job creation, industrialization and socio-economic growth.