Duapa Werkspace, in partnership with SNV Ghana and U-Hub, has organised Women in Green Business forum for over 100 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Takoradi.
The forum, which is the first of its kind focused on enabling female-led SMEs to understand that being a green business is not necessarily about the product but also the process of developing final product.
Attended by over 100 entrepreneurs within Sekondi-Takoradi, they discussed and shared ideas in the green sector as well as opportunities available to them. Also, it was to foster new businesses to adopt green processes in their business models to contribute to sustainable development goals. Also, acceleration progamme was introduced to them to enable them scale up and grow their businesses under the GrEEn project.
Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) project, a four-year action primarily funded by the European Union (EU), together with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).
Topics discussed were what is green business: the importance, benefits, opportunities for women in the green business, investments and markets in the green space, innovative ways to build and increase customers in the green space, building and sustaining environmentally friendly business.
Alberta Brown-Orleans, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of GrEEn Incubation, explained to B&FT that: “during cohort one and two recruitment exercises, we realized that majority of the applicants were male, and most of the female applicants that made it to the final stage of the selection process dropped out due to lack of confidence and constraints caused by their paid work, care, and housework.”
In order to increase women’s participation in the GrEEn incubation programme for cohort three, she said education about the circular economy is needed to motivate and inform women about the various opportunities available to them, hence, the need for the programme.
She added that the forum is to empower women into the green space and also enhance those who are already in the green business to transition to the GrEEn incubation.
“The GrEEN incubation is a programme offered for six months sponsored by SNV and the European Union to strengthen their business and to get them investment ready. For those who are already in the GrEEn space, we want to encourage them to transition their business into healthy one which is profitable, sustainable and not impacting on the environment negatively,” she added.
Hilda Abambire, Business Development and Market Linkages Advisor on the SNV GrEEn project mentioned that businesses need to become more resilient to survive and expand during and after COVID -19.
“Therefore, survival and growth mean that businesses have access to relevant information to make sound business decisions on protecting the environment, minimize waste, recycling of waste, generating income from waste, and many other green business practices,” he said.
She explained that the GrEEn project focuses on three specific objectives and these are: “to support the transition of local economies to green and climate resilient development, improve the employability and entrepreneurship capabilities of selected people by matching them with market opportunities, and mentoring into self-employment and enterprise development as well as create and strengthen local ecosystems that support youth-self-employment and the growth of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).”
She said: “with access to relevant information now, SNV is confident that your businesses will be better positioned to adopt green practices and generate additional income for your businesses.”