Seven women-led MSMEs secure US$2m from high-net-worth investors


Seven female-led micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) have successfully secured US$2million in funding from private high net-worth individual (HNI) investors.

Announcing this during the Women Entrepreneurship for Africa (WE4A) project’s conclusion in Accra, Juanita Addo, CEO-Hyma Academy, revealed that four additional enterprises secured a €120,000 grant while ten more SMEs received €50,000 equipment grants to bolster their businesses.

Held under the theme ‘Leveraging the Untapped Potential of Female Entrepreneurs for Job Generation’, the concluding event offered a platform for women entrepreneurs to exchange insights, recount their journeys, discuss opportunities and obstacles, and impart valuable lessons learned throughout implementation of the WE4A project.

It further highlighted their advancement, successes and significant contributions within their respective sectors; and promoted networking, encouraged dialogues about future initiatives and offered support for women-led enterprises.

The need for WE4A project

According to the World Bank, women own 44% of MSMEs in Ghana. The country also boasts the highest number of women entrepreneurs on the African continent – aside from Uganda and Botswana, per the MasterCard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2021.

Notwithstanding, these women-led MSMEs are confronted with many barriers – including access to finance, outmoded customary laws related to inheritance and land rights, as well as social norms hindering women from becoming entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

Against this background, the two-year project was born. It aimed at empowering African women entrepreneurs, fostering economic growth and promoting gender equality in entrepreneurship through targetted training, financial support and partnerships with the private sector.

Implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and the Tony Elumelu Foundation, the project empowered about 40 women to become successful business owners in Ghana.

“We achieved this through comprehensive training in capacity building, book-keeping, investor readiness among others,” explained the Team Leader-Employment for Skills and Development in Africa (E4D) at GIZ Ghana, John Duti.  “The programme also equipped the 40 businesses with various tools to enhance their growth; these businesses have now collectively secured 217 jobs and created 103 new jobs,” he added.

Economic inclusion

On his part, the Cluster Coordinator-Sustainable Economic Development, GIZ, Gerald Guskowski, said the project’s overall objective is to increase the economic inclusion and empowerment of women in order to create more decent jobs in African economies.

“Specifically, it is targetted to increase the number of African women entrepreneurs who have enhanced business capacities, have access to formal financial services, are integrated into local and regional value chains, and contribute to employment creation in their communities,” he said.

“And this programme has significantly boosted efforts toward economically empowering women in Ghana and on the continent; and I therefore encourage all stakeholders to continue joining hands to empower women-led enterprises even after the programme’s closure,” he added.

He congratulated the 40 women entrepreneurs for successfully completing this phase of the programme, and encouraged them to: “Make the most of everything you have learnt through this intervention, so that you will continue to be shining examples of economically empowered women for your communities”.

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