The Co-founder of WomenWork, a network of professional female executives and business owners across Africa, Asha Mweru has called on Ghanaians to support entrepreneurs particularly women in the country by patronising their goods and services.
She explained that such a measure would ultimately encourage small businesses to grow and support economic development.
Miss Mweru stated this in an interview with Graphic Online on Thursday, March 16,2023 on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of a four-month Catapult pilot training programme dubbed “the first Capstone Day” in Accra.
The Capstone Day was an event organised by WomenWork for Catapult programme trainees after completion of their training to create a platform for them to introduce their new products or services they have developed to a group of potential strategic partners, financiers, investors and business advisors for support.
One of the partners that graced the event was an Actress and Television hostess, Anita Erskine, who is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Anita Erskine Media, a boutique content production, and distribution firm.
The Catapult pilot programme is being implemented in Kenya and Ghana by the WomenWork with support from Argidius Foundation. It was aimed at creating access to networks and providing technical support skills to ensure a higher success rate in the businesses of the beneficiaries of the programme.
In all four women entrepreneurs were presented with certificates at the end of their training. They are, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Isabella Healthcare Services, Naana Akyaa Asante, Creative Director and Owner of Bello Edu, an organisation for women's clothing, Alima Bello, Founder of Wonfliki, a firm that provides agricultural drone services and data, Hillary Adare and the Founder of Checky Monkey, a child after school centre, Asha Bello.
While encouraging women entrepreneurs to be innovative and produce quality goods and services, Ms Mweru entreated government, investors and other stakeholders to create a conducive environment for small businesses to grow.
“What are investors and government doing?; what are policy makers doing?; different people must support entrepreneurs at different levels and in different ways. If you support only the big businesses what happens to the small ones?” the co-founder further asked.
She encouraged people to be creative and innovative to solve their own problems, stressing that “If you see some rubbish somewhere try to collect it but do it in a cheaper, faster way”.
Ms Mweru indicated that patronising goods and services in the country would equally create what she described as a “circular economy” where resources are gradually distributed among Ghanaians themselves thereby boosting the local economy.
She said in all there were six women who were trained under the Catapult programme in Ghana but four were presented with certificates at the event.
These women, she pointed out have therefore become part of the Womenwork Network across Africa as they will work with over 5,000 women who are also in different professions.
Womenwork she noted has trained over 600 women in digital skills and reached over 65,000 women-led micro businesses in Kenya.
Co-founded in Kenya with Pan-African ambition by Isis Nyong’o and Asha Mweru, WomenWork is focused on the advancement of African women through digital communities, skill enhancement, and access to capital and opportunities to improve their chances of success in their respective businesses.
The organisation has currently trained more than 2,500 women business owners in East Africa. It is a community of over 5,000 ambitious female professionals who are focused on the advancement of African women through digital communities, skill enhancement, and access to capital to improve their chances of success.
The four trainees while receiving their certificates, expressed gratitude to the organisers for the opportunity offered them to grow their respective businesses.
They said it was a good learning experience for them and pledged to leverage on the skills acquired to support other women to grow their businesses across the continent.