The Africa Women Rising (AWR), a women focused organisation, on Friday, December 10, held its associates forum and exhibition for the year, attracting scores of business owners, entrepreneurs, and startups.
The event, which was held at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) was on the theme: “Women Empowerment and the link to Sustainable Development in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Africa Women Rising, which was formally known as Crown Women Rising (CWR) was founded by Rev. Mrs Nana Sekyere, to promote women-led businesses, mentor young women entrepreneurs and startups, as well as to serve as a platform where women entrepreneurs could network to promote their businesses locally and internationally.
The event was also used to unveil a plaque for the organisation, which was designed by the Chief executive Officer of Accents & Arts, Ms Constance Swaniker.
The associates forum and exhibition brought together over 100 participants to share ideas, network and build on better ways to improve and expand their businesses.
Many successful businesses owners, including Dr Petina Gappah of AFCTA; Mrs Janet Abobigu, UNIJAY; Dr Afua Asabea Asare, Ghana Export Promotions Authority; Ps. Mrs Grace Krobo-Edusei, Grace Centre for Growth & Excellence, and Ms Constance Swaniker were all brought to share their experiences with the participants.
Speaking at the event, the Founder and CEO of Africa Women Rising, Rev. Mrs Nana Sekyere, encouraged business owners to strive to improve their products to meet international standards.
For her, it was time that businesses owners, particularly women entrepreneurs put in more efforts to ensure that their products meet the changing taste and demands of customers.
She explained that customers are gradually becoming sophisticated in terms of how they patronise products and that could only be met if business owners become creative and innovative in their fields.
For Mrs Sekyere, Africa Women Rising had been created to serve as a platform that will train business owners to add value to their products and services, and design new strategies to help their businesses to grow.
She said the organisatioj since its inception has helped many women-led businesses to grown, expand and attract more revenue inflows, urging participants at the associate forum to always implement ideas that are shared at their meetings.
She expressed the hope that going into 2022, the organisation would strive to have its presence in other African countries in order to afford opportunities to women-led businesses in such countries.
Mrs Sekyere said the Africa Women Rising would continue to rely on its three pillars—that is, to empathize, energize and elevate.
For her part, Ms Swaniker urged women entrepreneurs not to see their male counterparts as enemies but to see them as trusted partners for growth.
She said when women learned how to work with men, it would help their businesses to grow and expand, noting that men formed the greater percentage of her customers.
She, however, cautioned women entrepreneurs to be professionals when dealing with their male customers and not to offer themselves as baits to win contracts.
Ms Swaniker also urged women entrepreneurs and business owners not to feel intimidated in venturing into male-dominated fields or businesses, saying that such fields offered greater opportunities to women.
The Accents and Arts CEO further encouraged women business owners to find their voice, own their space and give back to the society through their work.
The CEO of Vulkan, Mr Kwasi Sarpong, urged women entrepreneurs to have business model, team, plan, and be passionate about their work before focusing their attention on money.
For him, every successful entrepreneur ought to learn from accomplished business owners in order to help guide their own decisions.
Taking her turn, Mrs Janet Abobigu of UNIJAY, urged parents to encourage their children particularly those in schools to learn other vocations to their academic work.
She said learning other vocations in addition to academic work offered such persons the more opportunities to make extra income than their counterparts.
She said people who had learnt other vocations aside their education could create their own businesses, hence they would not become economic burdens on their families.
Mrs Abobigu also urged business owners to use technology to promote their businesses, noting that the business world is gradually shifting to technology-based and only those who are compatible with the system can survive.
Africa Women Rising is a training, networking, and empowerment organisation that identifies, nurtures, supports and honours high achieving women globally to promote business growth and community transformation.
This is achieved with the objective of developing strategic relationships through entrepreneurship, business-to-business (B2B) network outreach, training and empowerment as well as facilitating impactful engagement and providing technical assistance in their relevant sectors.