The government has been urged to introduce legislation to increase an understanding of and create a more enabling environment for social enterprise to thrive.
This is contained in a report titled, “Activist to entrepreneur: the role of social enterprise in supporting women’s empowerment in Ghana.”
There are currently an estimated 26,000 social enterprises in Ghana which are purpose-driven organisations that trade to deliver social and environmental impact to benefit the communities in which they are located.
But according to the Co-author who is also Co-Founder of Songhai Advisory, bespoke business intelligence for African Markets, Kissy Agyeman-Togobo, the government must provide policy support like tax incentives, among others especially for women in social enterprise.
“There is a lack of clarity; people don’t necessarily know how to access information, they don’t know the kind of support they can get from government and of course the fact that social enterprises don’t have a legal form; that’s a big gap so there’s also a need for there to be knowledge around the sort of gender lens that investors should be thinking about,” she said.
Madam Agyeman-Togobo spoke to JoyBusiness at a policy forum on Women’s Economic Empowerment through Social Enterprise as part of the 2019 Ghana Women in Social Enterprise (WISE) Month organized by the British Council.
This forum featured the launch of the British Council’s latest research report on “Activist to Entrepreneur: the role of social enterprise in supporting women’s empowerment in Ghana.”
The report which sort to address gender inequality challenges in social enterprise also recommended that government should ensure that funding and support available for social enterprises are effectively communicated and coordinated.
It also mentioned that the government should set up a social enterprise taskforce with a specific remit for considering gender equality, to provide expertise and recommendations for policy. This should draw, not just well-networked social entrepreneurs in Accra, but on those operating at a community level in different regions.
The report further stated that the task force should have cross-sector representation with stakeholders from business, government, academics, and social entrepreneurs and should be gender-balanced.
The report also stressed the need for education. It says government and social enterprises should work in partnership to increase the use of social entrepreneurship education in schools, including a specific focus on addressing gender inequality.
The need for public awareness and careers guidance and counselling were also emphasized.
The Ghana Women in Social Enterprise Month (WISE) is an initiative of Global Entrepreneurship Network – Ghana (GEN-Ghana) which aims to promote women in social enterprise to generate social good through sustainable business opportunities while fostering economic inclusion for women.
The project seeks to put a spotlight on Women in Social Enterprise while commemorating the International Women’s Month of celebrations. It aims at exposing opportunities for and inspiring women in social enterprise to realize their potential to start and grow their own social businesses.
It also seeks to equip existing and aspiring female social entrepreneurs with practical tools, insights, experts, and resources to accelerate their successes.
The project also seeks to connect female entrepreneurs with a broad community and thriving, diverse and relevant networks and as well engage and provide a platform for the social enterprise ecosystem – examining research, public policies and successful approaches towards promoting women social entrepreneurship in Ghana.
Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) – Ghana is an entrepreneurship advancement organization that provides and promotes a platform of local, international programs aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere in Ghana to start and scale a sustainable business.
GEN-Ghana is a member of Global Entrepreneurship Network which operates in over 160 countries independently, working to build one entrepreneurial ecosystem around the world.