MSMEs must embrace risk to propel growth — Finance expert
• Participants in the forum

MSMEs must embrace risk to propel growth — Finance expert

Women-led Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) have been advised to embrace risk as an essential tool for their businesses to scale up and fully leverage the opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 


Through strategic risk-taking, women-led MSMEs will not only contribute to their own economic empowerment but also play a vital role in driving sustainable economic growth and gender inclusivity within the broader African business landscape.


In Africa, MSMEs constitute nearly 90 per cent of all businesses, generate over two-thirds of employment opportunities and are becoming hubs of innovation. This means that MSMEs could play a vital role in facilitating Africa’s industrialisation, agricultural development, food security, and structural transformation to accelerate the implementation of the AfCFTA which is the African Union’s special theme for 2023. 

However, despite their undeniable impact, women and youth-led enterprises often face significant barriers to accessing markets beyond borders and building resilient value and supply chains. 

There is growing recognition of the importance of addressing the challenges to women and youth entrepreneurship in order to transform our economies and build resilient societies.

Joining a panel discussion at the maiden Investor Market Place Finance Forum in Accra last Friday, the Head of Women’s Desk at Ecobank Ghana, Dr Loretta Sarpong, said taking calculated risk such as expanding market reach or investing in innovative technologies could propel MSMEs beyond local boundaries, facilitating access to larger consumer bases and diverse market.


The forum sponsored by the United Kingdom Trade Partnerships (UKTP) Programme was organised by the International Trade Centre (ITC) as part of efforts to accelerate the success of women-led businesses in the agribusiness sector by facilitating meaningful connections and partnerships between women-led businesses, financial institutions and non-financial institutions.

“MSMEs should make documentation of their cash flow a daily routine and explore digital payment platforms to make it easy for financial institutions to assess their progress.”

The Managing Partner, Alpha and Escamore, a snail farming and consultancy, Augustina Damete-Yeboah, said high interest rate and lack of funding opportunities remained some major challenges faced by women-led MSMEs.

The situation, she said, has led to many start-ups relying on family and friends to fund the business, which may not be sufficient enough to expand operations and increase reach for profit.

For her part, the Lead for Coverage and International Business at C-Nergy Ghana Limited, Madam Evelyn Sena King, encouraged MSMEs to engage professionals to handle certain aspects of the business to ensure professionalism and boost investor confidence. 

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