US Embassy hosts African women entrepreneurs

United States (US) Embassy is hosting women entrepreneurs from 14 African countries to help empower more women entrepreneurs in the global economy.

The women are beneficiaries of the US global entrepreneurship training to support and empower women entrepreneurs to promote community-based businesses.

The alumni ties has brought together participants from Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Ethiopia, South Africa, Cameroon and Zimbabwe.

It is being held under the theme, ‘Strengthening business and trade for women entrepreneurs in Africa’.

Ms Marie Royce, Deputy Secretary of State in charge of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA), who addressed the participants at the opening of the four-day seminar in Accra, said the ties would enable the women to share highlights of their work with peers.

She said the developing countries, especially those in Africa, have untapped resources in their women and there is the need to teach, train and mentor them to become successful hence the launch of the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) on Tuesday, June 25.

The opening of AWE is on pilot in 26 countries on the globe, including 10 Africa countries and would be extended to other parts of the world if successful, she said.

It is an online course dubbed ‘Dream Builders’ and short-listed applicants would go through interview before they start a 15-week training from July 9.

Ms Royce said the entrepreneurs had the opportunity to apply for grants up to $10,000 to support their businesses, adding that the criteria for selection would be based on a sound business plan, marketing plan, among others for community solution.

She said beneficiaries are also expected to mentor young ladies to become business giants.

Besides coming to Ghana to launch the AWE and interact with women business entrepreneurs, Ms Royce paid a courtesy call on Professor Kwesi Yankah, Deputy Minister of Education, in charge of Tertiary Education.

Among the activities of the alumni ties is the “World Cafe” or exhibition beneficiary wares.

Ms Matilda Payne, beneficiary of the International Visitor Leadership Programme, an exchange programme in the US, who spoke with the Ghana News Agency, said her companies; MH Couture and Xtreme Upcycle, were geared towards halting climate change, support young girls with two per cent of her proceeds and others.

She said the companies used waste products such as plastic bags, copper wires and beads to produce fashion and home accessory items.

She has employed a number of women who collect the waste and pay them whilst training young girls on the need to separate waste to make money.

Ms Payne, an advocate of climate change, provides logistics for women cleaners at the Kpone beaches as well as educate the public on the harmful effects of burning waste and encourage them to be champions of recycling.

She is currently working on a “one classroom, one mini library,” project with the Dawhenya Methodist “B” Basic School, where she solicits for books and computers to be used by classes in the school.

Ms Aissatou Sene, a Mandela Washington Fellow, from Senegal, who also produces bags, clothes, shoes and exports them to Indonesia urged young ladies to work hard and not to be dependent on the society.GNA

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