Let’s encourage educated women to go into business – Gordon
Ms Dorothy Gordon, the Director-General of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre for ICT, Tuesday, said educated women must be encouraged to go into business as part of gender empowerment.
“At the moment, while traditionally, Ghanaian women have really been at the fore front of business, educated women are not being encouraged to go into business and so definitely, they face additional challenges compared to their male counterparts for example when applying for loans,” she stated.
Ms Gordon made the appeal in Accra during a Social Enterprise Policy Dialogue, under the auspices of the National Development Planning Commission and the British Council.
She called on stakeholders to actively work to level the playing field so that it becomes easier for women with talents and ideas to gain access to markets.
She observed that these new barriers also exist when it comes to technology because it was clear that women were still being discouraged from going into technical subjects like science.
“Teachers will consciously or unconsciously send messages that these are not the right subjects for them,” Ms Gordon said. “Meanwhile, all over the world, we are seeing an explosion of more and more women getting into technology.”
She urged stakeholders to work together to lift those barriers and make it possible for any girl or any woman in Ghana who wants to run her own business; ‘whether it is a technology business or a normal business.’
“We should be able to give her the needed support within the system to make her achieve that, and to grow the business; because it is only by growing businesses that we grow our economy,” she stated.
At the policy dialogue, a new report commissioned by the British Council and conducted by Overseas Development Institute dubbed “The Social Enterprises Landscape in Ghana” was unveiled.
The Director-General lauded the British Council and the Overseas Development Institute for the report, which identifies and interviews 24 social enterprises, 29 support organisations and three United Kingdom-based stakeholders; their areas of operation were mainly in agriculture, ICT, health, education and skills training.
Ms Gordon noted that the report should be seen as a very preliminary report since it is not exhaustive.
She said the Kofi Annan Centre for ICT, over the past nine years, had been organizing the innovation week where they allow social entrepreneurs to pitch and gain access to investments and network not captured in the report.
She said such a report should be in depth, ‘which will give us an idea of how we should be moving forward’
She said it was high time, local institutions such as the Ministry of Trade and Industry starts conducting such researches.