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In West Africa, the majority of women work in informal sector shops, as in Ghana. … [+] Many entrepreneurs in the informal sector have lost their livelihoods during the COVID-19 pandemic and lack an economic safety net.
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In West Africa, 90.2% of women work in the informal economy. In good times this means they do not have access to adequate social and labor protections, but in times of epidemics this can spell disaster. A recent summary report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) states: “People working in the informal economy are vulnerable to poverty, hunger and disease because when they lose their livelihood, they do not lack the basic necessities of life mechanisms. ” In many cases, the decisions governments have had to make to slow the spread of the coronavirus have also forced millions of people to lose their livelihoods. Governments around the world, but especially in countries with a large informal sector like Ghana, are caught between a rock and a hard place.
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The managing partner of Annan Capital Partners (ACP), Roberta Annan, sees the reaction of the Ghanaian government as positive. “Delivering relief packages in the form of utility tariffs, electricity and water cuts, basic necessities to the underprivileged sections of society is a gesture of compassion and a shared responsibility to help those most vulnerable in these unprecedented times. It reflects the values,” she used to say. But with a challenge this big, the government cannot handle it alone. It first needs the approval of its citizens, but also the support of the private sector.
Annan and ACP have worked alongside Women Empowerment and Investment Group CEO Adeline Akufo-Addo Kufuor and GUBA Enterprise founder Dentaa Amoateng to bolster government efforts to ease the burden on small businesses run by women. “Our mission is to support women-led businesses and ensure more women know and have access to the resources they need to start and run their businesses, and by providing people with additional and/ or provide alternative resources,” Annan said.
The Covid-19 Stimulus Fund will invest approximately $2,500-$5,000 (15,000-30,000 GHC in local currency) in women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through 3 organizations. The total size of the fund has not yet been determined. The fund will arrange incentives with its investors. “It’s largely an equity-based model. We provide seed funding to SMEs and, based on their profitability, we take a percentage to reinvest the funds in supporting other SMEs. Let’s take it,” Annan explained. They want to make targeted investments in companies that focus on sustainability in their decision-making processes and have a positive impact on the Ghanaian economy. Most competitive applicants will also be able to describe how COVID-19 has impacted their operations and how they intend to manage or mitigate the risks involved.
In Ghana, US$5000 may be a sensible investment in an SME, but for growth-oriented companies it is unlikely to be the last external injection of capital. For the fund, “success means the majority of our women-led businesses are scaling their businesses by raising outside funding and capital.” In addition to capital, the fund provides infrastructure, branding tools, and digitization and expansion support to increase their chances of success.
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The three women behind the fund already have full plates, but they haven’t been able to watch other women entrepreneurs suffer. Annan shared: “We thought it wise to come together as women in business to help the government deal with this crisis as SMEs are the most vulnerable to the impact of Covid. There are many on this continent. Not all businesses survive and COVID has made it worse so we want to step up to help in the way we can best, woman to woman.”
If you are a female owned registered small business in Ghana looking for an investment you can apply between June 1st and August 1st via this link. Copyright © 2023 Media, Inc. All rights reserved. ® and related marks are registered trademarks of Media Inc.
If you’re a kid at heart and excited, you have what it takes to start one of these 5 great kid-focused businesses.
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Do you remember your favorite childhood toy? Do you fondly remember long Monopoly or Risk games? Do you find young children’s perspective interesting and often funny? When you see older children playing around, do you sometimes feel like joining in?
If you answered yes to these questions, chances are you enjoy children and the way they play. Chances are you will enjoy being a part of this season. You can get it by starting a baby business. As you will learn in this article, now is the best time to do so.
First things first though. Regardless of your background, skill set or interests, a solid understanding of the kids industry is essential before deciding where your niche lies. Read on to find out if a baby food store might be for you.
Child Industry Overview There is no shortage of potential customers in this industry: According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, there are more than 73 million children under the age of 18 in the United States, and that number is growing every year. Birth rates in the late ’80s and ’90s were the highest since the famous baby boom ended in 1964. By 2020, the number of children is projected to reach 80 million and make up about 24 percent of the US population.
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The size of the baby population is good news. Also the fact that parents and grandparents are spending more money on children than ever before. Most compelling, however, is the increase in children’s purchasing power.
Due to changing social and family roles of children, not only the direct expenses for children, but also their influence on household expenses have increased rapidly in recent decades. In the 1960s, an era when children were largely expected to “see and not hear,” children influenced their parents’ purchases by nearly $5 billion. Babies now influence $500 billion in household spending, including groceries, toiletries, and many other items outside of the traditional baby product realm (even the family car!).
So how much do children spend on products for their own use? According to a study by American Demographics Magazine, kids ages 4 to 12 spend more than $40 billion, while teens (ages 12 to 19) spend $155 billion of their own money.
There’s no question that kids have more money than ever before, and businesses know it. Today’s kids are the subject of an unprecedented marketing blitz, not just on TV but in school too. According to the American Psychological Association, Madison Avenue spends more than $12 billion annually on marketing to children. Child psychologists estimate that an average child sees 40,000 commercials each year and an average 3-year-old can recognize 100 brand logos.
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What does that mean for you? Children are more frugal consumers than ever. They know what products and toys there are. To ensure your business stands out in this market, you need to make sure you’re offering what kids want – and that means doing a lot of research. Let’s start with the following overview of the five types of subsidiary companies featured in this book and the trends shaping each industry. See the next chapter for more details on how to carve out a niche in one of these businesses.
Each of the following kids businesses—party planning, gift and bath products, educational toys and games, plus size clothing, and cooking classes—are covered in detail in separate chapters in the startup guide for kid-centric businesses. For now, here’s a quick industry analysis for everyone.
Kids party planning is a booming industry, especially in the teen party space where coming-of-age parties are becoming increasingly popular. Alongside traditional birthday and graduation parties, bar and bat mitzvahs and sweet 16 parties indicate a growing trend to celebrate children’s milestones. Given the significant Hispanic population, expect quinceañera (age 15) parties in particular to grow in popularity.
Although there are no figures for this market, experts predict that the industry will continue to grow as parents offer their children not only more, but also more expensive parties.
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The sheer breadth of this category, which includes everything from books to music to fragrances, makes it a promising market.
To capture just a small subset of the market
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