About 110,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) owned by women have benefited from the special fund set up by the government to cushion small and medium-scale businesses from the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
They are part of the 240,000 businesses that have received their share of the GH¢750 million Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAP BuSS).
The National Board for Small-Scale Industries (NBSSI), which is implementing the CAP BuSS, wants the support for about 70 per cent of the beneficiaries to be businesses owned by women.
The Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, Mrs Elizabeth Sackey, who made this known at the launch of the Ghana Women Entrepreneurship Summit 2020, in Accra, said the data reflected that about 110,000 women-led and women-owned MSMEs had received assistance from the CAP BuSS programme.
"Again, we are reliably informed that the recent NBSSI and the Mastercard Foundation programme on assisting resilient MSMEs is also positively biased towards women.
"It is expected that about 70 per cent of all beneficiary MSMEs should be female-owned and female-led. I am convinced that such a strategy is the surest way for post COVID-19 economic recovery," she said.
According to her, the summit sought to ignite the passion of entrepreneurship in the hearts of women and charge them on to undertake greater works.
She noted that the summit sought to unveil the innovative abilities of female entrepreneurs in order to harness and improve untapped potentials in the area of job creation and economic growth.
"GWES 2020 seeks to strengthen the contribution of women to Ghana’s economy, assess the policies and programmes of government from a female perspective and create sustainable networks that can draw resources to women entrepreneurs, advocate a change in negative social norms that impede the progress of women, and highlight digitisation to promote the advancement of female enterprises.
CAP BuSS experiences
The Deputy Executive Director of NBSSI, Mrs Ann Armo-Himbson, said recent experiences on the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme had re-enforced the need to assist MSMEs to go digital.
At this point, she noted that the NBSSI was convinced that assisting MSMEs to go digital was not negotiable.
"It will make it easy for business owners to attract support from the government and other development agencies.
"It will open them up to bigger markets and greater market opportunities. It is my hope that digitalisation and resilience will take a centre stage in this summit," she added.
A Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, observed that a strong MSMEs sector was important for the growth of every economy, advanced or developing.
He said in Ghana, the majority of registered businesses fell in this category, with a similar proportion of the industrial sector making it into the category.