The Ghana Women Entrepreneurship Summit (GWES 2018) opened in Accra on Monday with a pledge from government that it would do all it can to support women entrepreneurs to thrive in their businesses.
Addressing the opening session, Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, the Deputy Trade Minister, said government was focusing on the physical infrastructure and regulations to create a conducive environment for the women entrepreneurs to go about their businesses.
He said government was also working on commodity exchange to allow for producers across the country to be directly linked to buyers seeking their products.
Organised by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), the two-day summit, scheduled from June 4 and 5, would bring together key stakeholders in the entrepreneurial space to, among others, assess the progress of women entrepreneurs within the context of economic empowerment.
It would also foster networking to enhance the overall productivity of women-led industries.
The GWES 2018, which is on the theme: “Ghanaian Women Entrepreneurs: From Voices to Action,” would also provide the platform for discussions on finding innovative ways of accelerating the pace of women entrepreneurs in the country in the interest of job creation, industrialisation and socio-economic growth.
Mr Ahomka-Lindsay said the government’s one district one factory programme offered opportunity to entrepreneurs to live their dream in the production value chain and get Ghana beyond Aid.
He said the government was working to simplify business regulations to make it easier for all.
Ms Kosi Yankey, the Executive Director, NBSSI, in her remarks, said the summit was an exciting initiative that would help foster stronger partnerships between the NBSSI and its stakeholders, thereby creating a unique platform for women entrepreneurs to address the challenges women face while doing business in Ghana.
“This exciting initiative will create a unique platform for women entrepreneurs that are game-makers and innovators to engage in powerful and thought-provoking conversations, focused on the challenges women face while doing business in Ghana,” she said.
She said, although there were many women entrepreneurs in the country, their contribution in the entrepreneurial space was not enough but she was optimistic that the upcoming summit would guide discussions and come up with recommendations to help rectify the situation.
“We have to empower women to take action in the entrepreneurial space to push national development,” she said. The summit, being supported by Stanbic Ghana and Vodafone, would bring together leaders from government, regulatory bodies, research and academic institutions, and development partners to find effective ways to resolve challenges and systemic constraints that prevented women’s full and equal participation in the national economy.
The summit would include roundtable discussions on topics such as Finance, Technology and Agro-processing—which are identifiable challenges of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)—and map up sustainable interventions and other support mechanisms that will make their businesses more competitive.
0ver the period of the two-day Summit, there will be action tables featuring representatives from key entrepreneurship development on topics such as; Access to Finance, Kaizen, Mainstreaming the Informal economy and Necessity for ‘Ghana beyond Aid’.
There will be Master Classes by a Team of Experts from various fields on topics such as KAIZEN, and building your Ecosystem, among others. The NBSSI is the apex governmental body mandated to promote and develop sustainable MSMEs in Ghana. NBSSI is headquartered in Accra, with ten Regional offices in 175 District Offices nationwide, providing business development support services to enterprise.