Each year, 19th November marks Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and it is fitting to examine emerging opportunities and trends that women and youth can research further and build their businesses around.
‘Ecopreneurship’ is the largest opportunity for local entrepreneurs to tap into the growing calls for international partners and funders to redress the imbalances and inequalities caused by centuries of injustice. Globally, consumers are going ‘back to basics’ and local produce due to the supply chain issues, as well as growing social consumerism. This presents an opportunity for us to invest in our female dominated Creative and Green economies as governments, corporations, public and private investors.
It is well documented that Africa is home to the highest proportion of female entrepreneurs and the youngest population in the world, however, there remains the burning question of exactly how this diverse continent will leverage its ‘demographic dividend’ as well as tackle developmental, environmental and social issues.
After the just ended COP26, it is clear that Entrepreneurship Support Organisations and broader ecosystem stakeholders have a unique opportunity to reconsider Africa’s path to Development by adopting more Green and Climate focused policies to drive economic growth.
Africa should position itself as one of the most important Climate Adaptation and Climate Tech business destinations, where we can leverage social business models and go back to our indigenous knowledge to bridge social-economic inequality and development gaps.
Climate change is not an abstract concept – it is the cause of flooding, drought, fires, poor farmer yields and the devastating tidal waves that we have been witnessing in Keta and as far afield as the USA, the Caribbean and countries like Mozambique for many years now. Despite this, there are livelihood and environmental benefits for those social entrepreneurs that are able to pursue Circular Economy and Regenerative business models to solve real problems at scale for the mass market.
With a flurry of recent content and events designed to inspire women and youth to improve their economic situations and take advantage of emerging opportunities including the AfCFTA, there is a growing sense of urgency for a more practical, inter-disciplinary approach to solving these problems.
Landmark events such as YouthConnekt Africa Summit, TedX Accra, Pan-African Women’s Conference, Afrobytes, the WAN event, and ‘Africa Must Think’ featuring diverse leaders such as Thandie Newton, Wamkele Mene, Vusi Thenbekwayo, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Alloysius Attah, Thelma Ekiyor, Ato Ulzen-Appiah, Ammin Youssef, Haweya Mohamed and Iyin Aboyeji – drive home the need for new, pragmatic solutions to help all entrepreneurs.
Creative content and mass education projects to promote new opportunities for local entrepreneurs also have their part to play in creating a new generation of female entrepreneurs as they engage with others that reflect their own image inventing, innovating and solving problems through social enterprise. Radio still gets results in rural areas and must be examined as a way to empower more women and rural enterprises.
The just ended Circular Economy Competition TV show, recent COP26 events hosted by Tony Blair Institute / TedX and British High Commission in Accra all demonstrate a growing interest in and new ways of approaching Job Creation and Development issues with a Creative and Environmental lens (Climate Adaptation and Circular Economy).
It is women who have always been the guardians of humanity and we need to support them to grow their businesses now, more than ever.
The writer is Amma Gyampo, the CEO of ScaleUp Africa, a B2B Entrepreneurship and Sustainability advisory firm.
Also, serving as a Board Advisor, she helps leaders better understand Gender, Inclusion, Innovation, ESG and AgriTech, in her work with global organizations like Diageo, UNDP, Mastercard Foundation and Reach For Change, as well as African startups like the AgriTech venture, TroTro Tractor.