Lack of skills, knowledge said to hinder women entrepreneurs

Madam Darimani Hamidatu Saaka, a Lecturer at the Wa Polytechnic, has observed that, the lack of an up-to-date knowledge and skills, among women entrepreneurs, have been a hindrance to the growth of their businesses.

She said the few women entrepreneurs, who have brilliant ideas, never live to see their projects turn into actual “big businesses” as most would-be promising businesses stagnate and others collapse.

Madam Saaka made the observation when she spoke on: “The role of institutions in the development of female entrepreneurship” at the launch of the Student Representative Council Ladies Week celebration of the Wa Polytechnic, in Wa, on Monday.

She acknowledged that, even though half of the brainpower on earth is in the heads of women; today, the difficulty is to move from acceptance of equal rights to the reality of equal opportunity.

She said this transition would not be complete until women and men have equal opportunities for occupying position in power structures throughout the world, participating actively in public law-making and policy formulating bodies, as well as the world of private business.

Madam Saaka pointed out: “If this is not done, the tendency for women to lag behind in most developing societies would still continue to linger on and that would extend to the area of economic empowerment”.

She said although small business enterprises have been in existence all this while and have received some support from some financial institutions and government agencies, not much had been done in terms of comprehensive practical training.

Some tertiary institutions were running programmes, which were too academic and not packaged to meet the needs of the female entrepreneur, while students often look for white collar jobs rather than going into their own businesses after completion of their courses and programmes.

Madam Saaka said some organisations were also running seminars and workshops to train existing and would-be female entrepreneurs but the sessions were too short and, as with the tertiary institutions, they did not make up to the knowledge requirements of the entrepreneurs.

She urged female entrepreneurs to operate ventures that create new and improved products and services, find new ways of making products and services available to more people, create jobs and contribute to the economic welfare and tax base of their communities.

Female entrepreneurs should also serve as role models and mentors for aspiring entrepreneurs and other community members, she said.

On the role of tertiary institutions in developing female entrepreneurship, Madam Saaka appealed to tertiary institutions to promote female entrepreneurship by creating access to its education and training among young female graduates, businesswomen, academia, researchers and students.

The institutions should also embark on entrepreneur-related training programmes in various subject areas, including risk management and simple book keeping.

They should encourage the formation of entrepreneurship clubs and institutions to inculcate in the youth, the noble ideas early in life, through programmes and activities such as workshops, lectures, competitions and field study trips.

“This institution should run programmes on marketing and accountancy, as well as other subjects, to help equip female students with the skills to be able to form and operate their own businesses”, she added.

Source: GNA

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