Nana Frimpomaa Arhinat spoke about the challenges that female entrepreneurs have overcome through technology and innovations, at the British Council’s women in enterprise event.
Nana Frimpomaa Arhinat is the DFID Ghana Private Sector Development Advisor. The details of her speech at the British Council’s women in enterprise event was released by the government today. The speech was given on 23rd August 2018, and focused on female entrepreneurs and the challenges that they have overcome through technology and innovations.
The women in enterprise event took was the British Council’s social enterprise event for this year. The focus was “Women in Enterprise: the Creative, the New, and the Disruptive.”
Female entrepreneurs in Ghana
Arhinat’s speech identified the issues facing all entrepreneurs in Ghana, not limited to women. She said that small business owners in Ghana face the high cost of energy, regulatory challenges and the high cost of finance, which all impact their ability to scale businesses up. Arhinat said: “These challenges are not unique to female entrepreneurs but there are unique challenges that confront women specifically which often means female businesses are often smaller and don’t grow at the same pace as male enterprises.” She then shared the story of three female entrepreneurs to illustrate those barriers.
Arhinat identified what she sees as the four main barriers for female entrepreneurs:
- “Female entrepreneurs often minimise achievements to fit in.”
- “The second challenge often faced by women is time poverty – Women often have to make big trade-offs between growing their businesses and home responsibilities.”
- “The ownership challenge”. Arhinat gave the example of a female entrepreneur who had registered her business in a family member’s name due to time constraints and had challenges proving company ownership afterwards. And;
- Societal norms. Arhinat drew attention to widower rites which she said “bar women from participating in normal business activity after the death of a spouse.”
How women have overcome these challenges
Arhinat also identified several solutions which women have used to overcome some of the barriers to being a successful entrepreneur.
- Women using social media platforms for business networking
- The ENGINE programme which is helping women in small businesses to scale up their business; and
- DFID’s collaboration with the Government of Ghana to improve the policy and regulatory environment for doing business.
What else is needed to support female entrepreneurs in Ghana?
Arhinat encouraged the event attendees to discuss the challenges and find further solutions to support female entrepreneurs in achieving their potential. She added: “The size of the challenge – and the opportunity to support budding entrepreneurs in Ghana – is huge. The UK Government can help, by supporting events like these and the above mentioned programmes but it’s not our role to do this alone. We believe that the core role of entrepreneurship development lies with the private sector – through the banks, business development networks, with the Government providing a sound enabling environment and the regulatory framework for businesses to operate.”