The Economic Section Chief for the United States Embassy in Ghana, Stephanie Hutchison, has indicated that the US government is prepared to continuously support women entrepreneurs in Ghana.
Madam Hutchison believes women entrepreneurs have a key role to play in reviving Ghana’s economy.
Addressing graduands of cohort 4 at the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) in Accra, Stephanie Hutchison said women entrepreneurs are the pillars of the country’s economic growth.
“Promoting inclusion and economic growth, trade and investment is one of the top priorities of the US government. Entrepreneurs like you are central to this effort and critical to developing Ghana’s economy. We aim to support and develop entrepreneurs because we know they can be powerful and all-powerful engines of economic growth and job creation. Holding the skills of entrepreneurs create opportunities to generate critically needed jobs across various sectors that can boost sustainable economic growth.”
“Women entrepreneurs particularly have the driving talent and the commitment to start and grow businesses. But women do not get the same opportunities or support that men receive, and that’s where AWE comes in to break barriers that are holding everyone back and make economies stronger for everyone.”
Speaking to the media after the event, Country Lead for Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) Ghana, Mrs. Shola Safo-Duodu said her outfit is determined to train a lot more women with the requisite skills to be successful in their businesses.
“We have been running this for the past four years, so this is our fourth cohort. All together, we have trained about 270 women from 2019 till now. Today, for example, we graduated 89 out of 100 people that we put into the program. We started off in Accra with only 35 people, but over the years we have widened it to include many more regions. So for this particular cohort, we covered eight regions. We hope that with the funding that will come for the next cohort we can even expand it to more regions so that in the near future we can basically bring the training to every woman who runs or has the idea of running her own business”.
AWE is a part of the U.S. Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, a whole-of-government effort to advance global women’s economic empowerment, established in February 2019.
Since the program’s inception, 78 Ghanaian female entrepreneurs have completed the AWE program. AWE was a pilot program in 2019 in 26 countries, including 10 in Africa: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Since then, the program has expanded to over 50 countries and has trained over 7,000 women.
For more information about the State Department’s AWE program, please visit www.eca.state.gov/awe.