Social Enterprise Ghana, a rights-based and results-driven network, has commenced an advocacy training workshop for 720 Social entrepreneurs across Ghana.
The training is aimed at equipping its members with skills to effectively advocate for the economic rights of women and youth engaged in social enterprise for catalysing business growth and sustainable livelihoods.
Ultimately, the training will enable its members to effectively engage government agencies to access economic opportunities available to the vulnerable youth and women.
The advocacy began with a five -day trainer of trainers (ToT) workshop for 26 regional leads and partners across the 16 regions of Ghana, at the Volta Serene Hotel in Ho on Monday 12th July 2021, organised by Reach for Change.
Speaking at the training, Executive Director of Social Enterprise Ghana, Mr. Edwin Zu-Cudjoe, said the advocacy action will directly train about 500 youth and women engaged in businesses and indirectly impact over 7,000 youth and women within the ecosystem across the country.
He added that the ForumCiv project, led by Reach for Change, will ensure beneficiaries gain the requisite knowledge and capacity to effectively engage duty-bearers, dialogue and access services available within their institutions.
Also, Mr. Edwin Zu-Cudjoe called on government to increase investment in the sector and formulate appropriate policies and laws to cater for social enterprises in Ghana.
The Country Director of Reach for Change, Mr. Solomon Twum – also speaking at the workshop, charged participants to focus on impacting youth and women through the knowledge gained to enable them access government services.
“Merely sitting on radio and television or posting on social media will not drive government or state agencies to do what you wish. Entrepreneurs and businesses must know the rules of engagement and regulations to enable them advocate for a business-friendly environment,” he said.
Mr. Twum added that a survey conducted by Reach for Change in 2021revealed that most social entrepreneurs and vulnerable groups lacked knowledge on the processes to engage government agencies and effectively engage in advocacy. Therefore, the training will improve their capacity to engage government officials so as to provide them with feedback and co-develop programmes and policies required to improve their standard of living.
Mr. Emmanuel Leslie Addae, Board Member of SE Ghana, said he envisages a supportive community for social entrepreneurs in the short-term, as the sector holds numerous prospects for the country.
“If we want a Ghana Beyond Aid, we should invest in social enterprises – so that as the economy improves, social problems are solved and we have very socially responsible businesses which can take us into the prosperous life that we want for the country,” he added.
Catherine Boafo, a member of Social Enterprise Ghana and founder of Mawutwueni Ghana Ltd., expressed her satisfaction and appreciation for the training.
She said: “The session has equipped me with advocacy skills necessary for improving the economic rights of vulnerable women and youth as part of efforts in financial sustainability and economic empowerment”.
With 600 social enterprises under its wing, Social Enterprise Ghana supports and connects social entrepreneurs to finance, markets, and advocates for business-friendly policies and environments.
The training will benefit vulnerable groups and strengthen their engagement with government agencies, and also better-influence government policies.