Second Lady, Samira Bawumia, has said the active participation of Ghanaian women in entrepreneurship, is an indication that they are not lazy and that given the needed support, they will succeed.
According to her, women entrepreneurs are key to the development and growth of the economy adding, “it is necessary, therefore, to create a conducive environment to empower women and facilitate the establishment and growth of start-ups.”
Mrs. Bawumia was speaking at the Women Entrepreneurship Conference, organized by the Ministry of Business Development Tuesday.
The conference, under the theme: “Unleashing Women Entrepreneurship For Inclusive Growth,” is an initiative to create a sustainable and most business-friendly and business enabling environment which fosters private sector-led investment for job creation and livelihoods.
It also aims at promoting the entrepreneurial capacity of the youth as well as nurture, build and promote indigenous Ghanaian women businesses.
According to her, it is evidence based that the economic growth of the Sub Saharan Africa is largely based on women entrepreneurship but are likely to be small scale enterprises in the informal sector with low value activities that only reap marginal benefits.
She said about 80% of women in Ghana engage in various economic activities indicating that “Ghanaian women are not lazy, and will work if we want to and if we have to and predominately operate in the small to medium scale sectors of the economy”.
“According to the Ghana Statistical Service women make up about 50.5% of the Ghanaian workforce, which per the Ghana living Standard survey in 2014 states that the formal sector employs only 6.2% of women and 3.3% in public sector and 2.9 in the private sector, “that tells us how woefully under represented we are” the second lady said.
She said in spite of this, women are still faced with challenges and have to grapple with the many constraints in raising funds and mobilizing revenue that set them back in the pursuit of entrepreneurship and economic empowerment.
According to the World Bank, only 47% of women globally have formal financial institutions and saving mechanism making access to credit a critical challenge for women in business.
She said many studies have shown that investing in women has a multiple effect hence the need to focus on the contribution women’s make towards the acceleration of economic development and inclusive growth.