The usual narrative of lack of funding, especially for women in business may well be in its dying embers as government seeks to do away with this major obstacle to business growth.
Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) operators at the Women Entrepreneurship Conference in Accra have repeatedly echoed the challenges they face in raising funds and mobilizing revenues in the pursuit of entrepreneurship and economic empowerment.
The collateral system held by men bodes doom for their businesses even before they start and have therefore called for a more SME-friendly banking services to meet their needs.
According to the World Bank, only 47 percent of women globally have access to formal financial institutions and saving mechanisms; making access to credit a critical challenge for women in business.
But Minister for Business Development, Ibrahim Awal, has assured them of better days to come.
“Government is devoting GHS10million to support young women entrepreneurs. This money is for all categories of businesses.”
He said some 5000 SMEs across the country are being targeted for funding ranging from GHS20,000 to GHS100,000 for each business.
Available figures show 80 percent of women in Ghana are engaged in various economic activities, predominantly in the small to medium scale sectors of the economy.
The Ghana Statistical Service, GSS, estimates that women make up 50.5 percent of the labor force whereas the Ghana Living Standards Survey (2014) that the formal sector employs about 6.2 percent of women; 3.3 percent in the public sector and 2.9 percent in the private sector.
Awal reassured the entrepreneurs that government was committed to removing all obstacles that hinder the smooth operations of their businesses, particularly women prosperity and hinted that adverts would soon be placed for businesses willing to access the funds to apply.
By Godfred Tawiah Gogo