Social Enterprise Ghana, the national network of social entrepreneurs and hubs working to develop a thriving ecosystem for the development of social enterprises, has called on the government and financial institutions to invest in social entrepreneurs.
Edwin Zu-Cudjoe, the Executive Director of Social Enterprise Ghana made this call during the 2nd edition of the Ghana Social Enterprise Forum which was held at Tomreik Hotel in Accra on the Theme: “Building Forward Stronger: The time to invest in the social entrepreneur is now”.
The forum brought together social entrepreneurs, hubs, impact investors, government officials, and policymakers, and the media to dialogue and share ideas on the way forward for investing and supporting social entrepreneurs saw about 1,300 people attending online and in person.
In the Keynote Address presented on behalf of the Deputy Minister of Finance Hon Abena Osei-Asare, a Director at the Ministry of Finance, Dr. David Quist
social entrepreneurs for economic growth was held at Tomreik Hotel at East Legon in the Greater Accra Region with the theme “Building Forward Stronger: The time to invest in social entrepreneurs is now”.
Engaging the participants on the rationale behind the forum and the theme, Executive Director for Social Enterprise Ghana, Edwin Zu-Cudjoe indicated that the theme for the forum has become necessary because the time has come for social enterprises to get that little push from investors and government. He gave statistics of Ghana having more than 100,000 Social Entrepreneurs, a situation he describes as welcoming, and stressed the need to invest in these enterprises for economic growth.
Touching what SE Ghana is doing currently to support its goal, he indicated that the organization is embarking on nationwide advocacy to support women enterprises and over 10,000 women enterprises have so far benefited from the initiative. While about seventy-Eight (78) Social Enterprises have been connected to investors.
The event saw representations from the Ministry of Finance in the person of Mr. David Quist, the British Council, among others giving in their goodwill messages.
The Finance Ministry assured the government’s commitment to creating the enabling environment for social entrepreneurs to thrive whiles the British Council commended SE Ghana for its timely intervention to empower social enterprises when the country was struggling to ensure a post-covid-19 strive of the economy
Financial institutions such as Ecobank, Absa Bank, Fidelity Bank, Wangara, Afro Arab, Impact Capital, and SheEquity and all stressed their willingness to support businesses financially as they have various policies to that effect with little interest.
They encourage social enterprises to gather the courage to visit their various offices for clarifications and negotiations.
They however commended SE Ghana for their timely interventions towards the development of Social Enterprises.
Ecobank however outlined some four-pillar loan policies it has initiated to support women inclusive businesses dubbed “ Ellevate by Ecobank”. Under this policy, the Bank will support businesses in four categories, Women-owned businesses, Businesses managed by Women, Businesses that have 30% women employees or shareholders, and Businesses producing women needed products. The loan has the lowest interest rate between 22% to 25%.
Meanwhile, a five (5) panel women discussion was held with the theme “Women Social Entrepreneurs and their Impact for sustainable development”. The panel included the Chief Executive Officer for Women Haven Africa (WHA) Adwoa Fosua Owusu, Faati Abigail Abdulai, Executive Director for Attarrah Ghana Limited, Lauretta Obeng Sackey, CEO Lauretta Unisex Designs, Viola Labi, Managing Director, WOVEN, and Anita Bin Lawal. They all suggested massive support for Social Entrepreneurs; with Adwoa Fosua Owusu stressing that “even though the government is doing so much, is using the wrong approach hence not meeting the target. To her, the best way the government can do this is to collaborate and partner with already existing social enterprises.
After the program, Edwin Zu-Cudjoe, the Executive Director of Social Enterprise Ghana had an interview session with Baobab Entrepreneur watch the video here
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