Find out more about how the Scholars Entrepreneurship Fund is driving up financial independence, entrepreneurial leadership, business growth and social capital among young women.
CAMFED Ghana boosts young women’s entrepreneurial and leadership ambitions
An in-depth survey, media articles, and a number of key events have highlighted CAMFED Ghana’s recent progress in supporting girls to thrive at school, and boosting young women’s entrepreneurial and leadership ambitions.
These strides are being made with the support of valued government and donor partners, and delivered via young educated women in the CAMFED Association, lending their expertise as Transition Guides, Learner Guides, and peer mentors.
Supporting young women’s entrepreneurial ambitions
CAMFED Ghana has published findings from a survey of 46 young women awarded funding through the Scholars Entrepreneurship Fund, established with the support of the Mastercard Foundation. The fund was set up in response to Scholars highlighting that they had or wanted to start viable businesses to benefit communities, but were unable to access the required finance to scale and sustain them. Having received up to US$4,000 each in 2019, the entrepreneurs are now thriving: 85% are running businesses and looking to expand, while 72% count themselves self-employed due to the support. In addition, the majority (65%) no longer depend on others for money or basic necessities, and can themselves support up to three dependents. 78% said they have provided assistance to children and vulnerable adults in their communities using their profits.Read the full report
In addition to financial investment, CAMFED Ghana has devised a tailored mentorship program as part of our partnership with Mastercard Foundation and its Young Africa Works strategy, supporting female entrepreneurs to thrive. Together with the Ghana Enterprises Agency (formerly National Board for Small Scale Industries) we have established District Business Committees to provide advice and support to young women in business.
The voluntary, five-person committees, which were formed in 2020, have visited entrepreneurs to offer advice and assistance, helped with access to affordable loans and grants, and assisted with business registration processes. At their recommendation, more than 6,000 entrepreneurs have been supported with start-up kits, specialist equipment and training.
Students call for young women mentors in all schools
Young people highlighted the importance of mentors at an Open Day for CAMFED’s Learner Guide Program. The event was held in Mankessim, Central Region, and gave education policymakers and administrators the chance to hear from students about what it means to them to have ‘big sisters’ in schools to deliver the My Better World self-development curriculum. Secondary student Beatrice told the gathering: “I used to be very shy in school, but the Learner Guide Program empowered me to contest for the position of Senior Girls’ Prefect.”
CAMFED Ghana’s National Director, Sally Ofori-Yeboah, and Senior Program Officer, Candace Bentil, spoke about how Learner Guides provide vital home-school links — promoting child protection, providing psychosocial support, setting up study groups, and more.Read an article on Ghana Web
The power of Learner Guides was a central theme at CAMFED Ghana’s 2021 Annual General Meeting, held under the theme ‘Mentoring as a tool for Youth Development’. The role of CAMFED Learner Guides was crucial to our movement supporting more than 21,000 children to go to school in Ghana this year, and igniting even greater ambitions for the future.
They’re providing tailored support to young rural women so they can start, sustain or grow businesses. Committee members join meetings with families and community stakeholders to help young women overcome gendered barriers, including access to land.
Discussions highlighted that the Learner Guide Program has so far been implemented in 83 schools and is key to supporting girls to learn, gain confidence, and step into leadership positions after graduation.