The Mirror Lifestyle Content

Mrs Elizabeth Amefo, a provision shop owner takes orders from her customers on WhatsApp
Mrs Elizabeth Amefo, a provision shop owner takes orders from her customers on WhatsApp

More women adopt technology for business but fear MoMo scams

A few years ago, Mrs Temi Oware-Yeboah, a fashion designer at L’odelle fashion house, depended solely on measurements from clients out of her reach to sew their clothes.


Today, in the comfort of her fashion house located at Madina, a suburb of Accra, she is able to communicate with clients on different digital platforms, and in addition to the measurement, sees their stature and designs clothes suitable for their body types.

Also on social media apps like YouTube and TikTok, she is able to learn new creative skills such as constructing corsets for gowns.                                            

Mrs Oware-Yeboah is part of a number of women in the informal sector who have adopted and are constantly using new digital platforms to enhance their businesses. 

This week, The Mirror engaged a few of these women to find out how technology was advancing their businesses and some of the challenges it presented.

The fashion designer said one of her challenges was the electronic levy (E-levy) charges on electronic money platforms such as MTN mobile money (MoMo).

“When customers are asked to add the charges when making payment, some of them are reluctant and would rather walk-in to make payment, especially when the amount is huge”, she said. 

Talking about MoMo scams, she said the only option was to be very smart and not to share pin codes with anyone.

The Mirror also spoke to a provision shop owner, Elizabeth Amevor, at Adenta-Frafraha in Accra, who said she used mainly

WhatsApp to take orders from customers, which are then delivered to them by her son.

When asked if she used digital payment platforms, she said she had trust issues with that.

“I do not take MoMo in my shop because of fraudsters and sometimes the system shuts down and my money gets locked up.

“Mi diɛ mi’ngyi MoMo, cash nkoa”, meaning she didn’t trust MoMo and accepted cash only.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Odelanaya Hair Gallery at Adenta-Ashiyie, Henrietta Denyo, who shipped in hair bundles from Vietnam, Dubai and China, said her business was very active on social media, mainly on Instagram and WhatsApp.    

  Odelanaya Hair Gallery promotes its business mainly on Instagram and WhatsApp

“Instagram has helped promote my brand and I love the fact that for every Instagram feed I post; I get feedback swiftly. I am also able to run promotions such as discount sales and gift vouchers through these platforms,” she said.

 “Also, for someone who ships and makes purchases worldwide, mobile money is a big part of my business, except for the bothersome E-levy charges,” she added.

 She said her only challenge with selling online was that most of the time, the lights used in taking pictures of products slightly altered the colours or look of a products and some customers who felt  they had been deceived returned the items days after purchasing.

 “I actually take the pain to let my online clients know but they would buy, receive the order and return it after a week or more and seek refund. This really hurts the business and I always have to be tough and refuse.”

This reporter witnessed a client who had reported the business at a nearby police station, requesting a refund after she was said to have kept the wig for three weeks.  


Mrs Denyo added that she was also not too comfortable using payment platforms like MoMo, as she had fallen victim several times, mainly from her online buyers.

“I do not know how, but some of them are able to generate screenshots with the company name on it, indicating that they had made payments but it turned out false,” she said.

She added that this trick was mostly used during sales because that was when there was pressure. She admitted that her online business could not thrive if she decided not to use momo, so she had become more vigilant.

A chop bar operator, Ms Ethel Oppong, of “Yesu Mo chop bar” at Madina Zongo in Accra said she was unable to  read  and was therefore limited in her use of technology except she used her small phone for MoMo.


Ms Oppong said she used mobile money mainly for making purchases of foodstuff, and according to her, she had no fear of fraudsters because she was too smart and could always outwit them.

In another chat with a beans and rice seller at Adenta Barrier, Ms Esther Asare, she said her daughter who was a university student helped her when it came to technology. She said she relied on her to receive orders and make MoMo transactions.

Ms Asare said her only challenge was her inability to read and so had once fallen victim to an unfavourable loan agreement.

“I took that loan to start a business but the interest was huge and I had no idea because I could not read the contract. I was frustrated and had to borrow money to pay back,” she said. 



                   This year's celebration is on the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.

International women's day

In addition to finding out how technology was affecting their businesses, this reporter also asked the women if they knew about International Women’s Day (IWD) and its significance in helping forge gender equality.

Most of them had no idea what the celebration was about and suggested that the focus should be on engaging women like them.

The beans and rice seller suggested that the celebration can be used to educate women in the informal sector on the use of technology and also on how to read basic English.

Mrs Amevor, who was unfamiliar with the celebration, said she was glad women were being celebrated and urged women with little education like herself to be vigilant when it came to MoMo transactions.

The salon CEO, Mrs Denyo, who was the only person conversant with IWD, encouraged women entrepreneurs to value technological platforms such as Zoom and Instagram live as it could help advance their businesses.

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