NGO secures funds to train women in entrepreneurship
A non-governmental organisation (NGO), the World University Service of Canada (WUSC), has secured a grant of CAN$8.5 million from Global Affairs Canada to implement its five-year project targeting 5,000 young women in Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi, and Accra.
Known as Innovation in Non-Traditional Vocational Education and Skills Training (INVEST), the project seeks to promote sustainable pathways and enhance the economic empowerment, well-being, and inclusive growth of 5,000 urban poor young women in Ghana.
The funds were made available in April this year by Global Affairs Canada, a department of the Government of Canada (GoC) that manages Canada's diplomatic and consular relations, encourages Canadian international trade, and leads Canada's international development and humanitarian assistance.
Launching the five-year project at a forum in Accra, the Director of the project, Ms Appiah Boakye, said WUSC was excited about the opportunity that the INVEST project provides, to strengthen and connect Technical and Vocational Education and Training system actors on both the supply and demand side of the labour market.
That, she said, was holistically addressed on how community, industry and training providers could encourage and nurture women to take up lucrative skilled work that would lead to greater economic prosperity for young women and ultimately the country.
The five-year collaborative initiative, which runs from 2020 to 2025, seeks to specifically invest in women, institutions, and the labour markets of high-growth, male-dominated trades.
The goal is to empower women with sustainable skills, reduce gender-specific barriers and increase the contribution of women to achieve economic growth in Ghana through a threefold multi-dimensional approach.
It seeks to strengthen existing apprenticeship programmes and expand opportunities for young girls to access formal and informal apprenticeship programmes through institutions and the private sector.
It will also entice the private sector to support young women’s entry into the sector and build the business acumen of female graduates and entrepreneurs and outreach as well as sensitisation at the community, industry, institutional and national levels around the inclusiveness of women within male-dominated trade areas.
Through the INVEST initiative, Ms Boakye noted that WUSC would utilise an inclusive market systems approach to strengthen the capacity of a diverse array of TVET stakeholders to support women trainees, graduates, artisans and entrepreneurs in male-dominated trades.
She said WUSC would also improve the functionality of system actors within the TVET system to deliver market-relevant and gender-sensitive training and support services to young women.
“WUSC intends to focus on two primary employment pathways including formal wage employment and entrepreneurship.
“It will establish a business case for employers in the industry to hire, retain and promote women in the workforce, as well as co-organised business competitions with industry partners to encourage women to start up or scale businesses, women will be able to secure better opportunities and create an empowered life for themselves,” she added.