Africa Skills Hub in collaboration with Canada World Youth -Jeunesse Canada Monde and Global Affairs Canada held a number of gender mainstreaming policy dialogues as part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Livelihoods Initiative (WELI).
The aim is to initiate a series of national discussions on the integration of gender mainstreaming into national business policy. This would then lead Ghana to more inclusive economic development and socio-cultural outcomes.
Gender mainstreaming advocacy is essential to advance the inclusion agenda in the Ghanaian entrepreneurship ecosystem. Approximately 50% of the Ghanaian population are women, however SMEs are owned by women and their specific needs have not been explored or taken into account at various levels. Political measures must therefore create a level playing field.
According to Franklin Owusu Karikari, director of economics and politics at the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan Ghana, understanding the dynamic roles in gender inclusion plays a role in economic development.
He believes that economic development cannot be achieved without the active participation of women in all areas of life. It is therefore necessary to develop a start-up policy that allows women to compete with men.
On the sidelines of the consultation session of the Women’s Entrepreneurship and Livelihoods Initiative (WELI) political ecosystem, he said, “Women are looking for affordable finance because they want their business to be successful regardless of their domestic problems. In order to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and political decision-makers, both formal and informal means must be used. “
For her part, Social Enterprise Ghana Chairwoman and CEO of Impact Investing Ghana, Amma Lartey, said that access to finance is one of the challenges in considering gender, which results in very few women entrepreneurs.
“Working with local associations can bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and policy makers. Gender equality is important because we want to live in a world where everyone has equal opportunities, ”she said.
“The participation is low due to a lot of misinformation. Politics needs to be understood by the masses at the local level to ensure that average female entrepreneurs are aware of the regulations that benefit them, ”said Amma Gyampo of Scale Up Africa.
In the meantime, the review of MSMEs, Ghana startup and entrepreneurship policies will culminate in the final creation of a Policy Toolkit focused on decision making on gender issues in the entrepreneurship ecosystem.
According to Anatu Ben-Lawal, the project manager at WELI, there is hope that the necessary breakthrough for female social entrepreneurs in Ghana and the sub-region can be further advanced.
The guideline guide will help duty-bearers in Africa rethink how they do “gender work” and implement a policy of generated entrepreneurship.
The WELI project uses a youth-centered and gender-equitable approach to economic empowerment in response to COVID-19 in both Ghana and Senegal.