THE government has shifted its attention to the creation of indigenous entrepreneurs to accelerate the development of the economy.
It follows years of policy interventions and investments that have helped to establish and sustain an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
Under its district industrialisation programme known as One District, One Factory (1D1F), more than 100 factories have been established across the country and many more projects still under discussion.
To help build on the successes and consolidate the gains, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, said the government would now chart a new path towards deliberately developing entrepreneurs into global giants.
“Yes, in the first term of our government, we have done so many great things such as free senior high school (SHS), 1D1F and other progressive programmes
But as a government we want to chart a new path for our national development which is to refocus on entrepreneurship and that is the path for growth,” the minister said.
He was speaking at the third Biennial Ghana Women Entrepreneurship Summit (GWES) and the launch of the Women Entrepreneurs Rise (WERise) Network organised by the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) in Accra on Monday.
On the theme “Breaking Barriers, Accelerating Women-Owned Businesses,” the two-day summit hosted several sessions with speakers and panelists such as the National Project Coordinator in charge of Young Africa Works at GEA, Suzan Yemidi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), She Hub, Erica Kyere, CEO of Makeup Ghana, Rebecca Donkor, and Deputy CEO of GEA, Anna Armo-Himbson.
It created a platform to address challenges women entrepreneurs confront in their efforts to contribute to the development of Ghana’s economy.
The WERise Network is a support network established under GWES to unite the efforts of women in the micro small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector to tackle shared challenges and to provide a suitable environment for constructive peer interactions and knowledge sharing.
Benefits of entrepreneurship
The minister stated that harnessing the benefits of entrepreneurship would no doubt help to accelerate the country’s economic recovery, post-COVID, and make it more inclusive of the contribution of women and youth.
Consequently, he said the government was committed to supporting more women to take risks, secure credit, train them on business management and provide access to the market.
“Women contribute about 45 per cent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and so the issue speaks for itself.
An even more compelling case is being laid for supporting women in the country with the government’s direction on unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit of our country,” he said.
In this regard, he said there was no better testimony than GWES which hosted about 800 participants who were mainly women.
“Women should be at the centre of economic activities but the skill of enterprises that women are engaged in must also grow,” the minister added.
The CEO of GEA, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, stated that despite the contribution of women to the Ghanaian economy, there was still an increase in feminisation of poverty, pervasive gender disparities in wealth and income from work.
She said the major areas of gender inequalities in the economy included women’s predominance in the informal economy.
According to her, some 70 per cent of women workers are employed or self-employed in informal jobs, which are insecure, unprotected and poorly paid.
She said the theme of this year’s summit resonated well because women all over the world, including Ghana, faced numerous challenges, but coming together allows them to discuss innovative ways, accelerate their growth by forging relationships and networks to break these barriers.
“This is what the GWES summit over the years has achieved. Unlike other summits, GWES built a platform to increase support to women owned MSMEs, build partnerships among them,” she added.