Canada Supports Empowerment of Women Entrepreneurs in Ghana

Entrepreneurs exhibit their palm oil products with improved packaging.

A visitor at the exhibition congratulates an entrepreneur for her great work.

Entrepreneurs exhibit their improved packaged rice products.

High Commissioner Thornley with Traditional Leaders Interact with Entrepreneurs.

Gender equality is a fundamental right for everyone, yet all around the world there are blatant violations to women’s rights.

There is a clear discrepancy in poverty rates among men and women in Ghana. Lack of access to employment and resources is a leading reason why women in Ghana are at a higher risk for poverty than men.

The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives supported the Network of Women in Growth in Ghana (NEWIG) to implement a project aimed to empower rural women leading small medium enterprises in the Adansi South district of Ghana. The project focused on developing a network among women entrepreneurs to strengthen their technical skills, lead more effective public-private dialogue, and build sustainable economic growth.

Women Lifting Women out of Poverty

Since 2002, NEWIG has aimed to improve the socio-economic and political status for women in Ghana through access to economic empowerment, good health, and political leverage in society.

Organizations like NEWIG are instrumental in the improvement of economic participation by women as poverty remains persistent in rural Ghana due to low education attainment, limited access to resources and lack of decent work opportunities.

From Training to Action

Entrepreneurs ranging from soap makers to palm oil extractors were trained in business management, marketing advocacy and lobbying skills, gender sensitivity in enterprise development.

To apply their training to reality, a 5-day trade show was organized so entrepreneurs couldsell their products and services and increase their networks of local service providers. Several traditional leaders, district officials, and Christopher Thornley, High Commissioner of Canada to Ghana attended the trade show and congratulated entrepreneurs for their work.

When asked how the training project and the networking have helped their businesses develop, entrepreneurs replied that the network gives them a stronger credibility with stakeholders, suppliers and financial institutions. With this confidence, entrepreneurs hope to sell their quality products in larger markets. 

Ghana is a country of focus for Canadian development assistance and one of our top five recipients of Canadian bilateral assistance worldwide. Canada will continue the fight against poverty and support gender equality in Ghana.

While complete gender equality in Ghana remains distant, projects such as these will close the gap between men and women and enable women to determine their own futures.