Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, has pledged the government’s continuous support to women entrepreneurs to effectively contribute to the country’s economic development.

He said women businesses accounted for about 45 per cent of all registered enterprises in the country and needed to be empowered to effectively grow the economy to achieve the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.

Mr Ahomka-Lindsay was speaking at the Ghana Women Entrepreneurship Summit organised by the NBSSI, Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works and BUSAC Fund.

The biennial event was on the theme: "Ghanaian women entrepreneurs: The cornerstone of economic resilience" and aimed to enhance the growth of women-led businesses.

The Deputy Minister said to achieve the goal of industrialized Ghana, participants at the summit needed to identify real and distinctive policies to ensure that Ghanaian women entrepreneurs reached their potential.

He said Parliament had passed the bill for the National Board for Small Scale Industry (NBSSI) to be transformed to Ghana Enterprises Agency and said the Ministry would continue to give the needed support to drive its projects.

He urged the women to come up with real practical, distinctive solutions to address challenges faced in their businesses and suggest policies and interventions to enable them to meet their targets.

Mrs Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Executive Director NBSSI, said the Ghana Enterprises Agency would help to better deliver on its mandate, be a force to reckon with and to continue to transform enterprises, mainly the business of the women.

She said this would make such businesses more competitive to survive in the economy, grow and expand beyond Ghana.

‘I am very happy we delivered on our promise, till date the Coronavirus Alleviation Business support scheme had given support to over 200, 000 beneficiaries of which 70 per-cent are women,” she said.

“We are happy about the impact made over the period. NBSSI would continue to work to transform the sector and ensure that the President’s initiative to create a Ghana beyond aid, promote women in business and private sector development would be achieved,” she added.

Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said 300,000 people had benefitted from the Board’s business development services since 2017 while many jobs were created.

She said the Agency would work hard to ensure that women MSMEs were digitalized and receive support to compete at the international front.

She said partnering with Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), 400 MSMEs would be accredited with the required certifications to compete on the global stage.economy.

She commended Mastercard Foundation for their support and partnership, the Ministry of Finance, Ministry for Trade and Industry and all stakeholders for their contribution to the bring NBSSI thus far.

Ms Natalie Gabala, Regional Head, West, Central and North Africa of the Mastercard Foundation said the partnership with the NBSSI was to grow the entrepreneurial ability of young women in Ghana.

She said the focus was on women because they represented more than 50 per cent of the Ghanaian population and such initiatives would help to empower them as key players in economic growth.

She said the support would enable young women to contribute to the nation’s economic growth and to support their family and communities and the nation at large.