Women of Siriyiri in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region have been schooled on entrepreneurship and business development as part of efforts to enable the women to earn decent livelihoods and attain financial independence and sufficiency.
This was done in an event organized by Mara Foods and Beautiful Smiles Project – a consortium of establishments – at the Siriyiri community over the weekend.
The event tagged ‘March Outreach’ was one in a series of monthly community outreaches Mara Foods has already begun since the start of this year.
Addressing the gathering of women on Saturday, April 02, 2022, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the consortium, Maria Johana Yuorpor said the objective of the engagement was to help the women identify vital business opportunities within and around their vicinities which they could venture in to earn themselves good living and terminate the canker of poverty among rural dwellers and particularly women.
She said the focus of her monthly community outreaches was on women and girls living in rural parts of the region, for it was in these areas that there exists so much marginalization when it comes to women’s economic activities.
Madam Yuorpor further stated that women played critical roles at home, especially in child-raising and home up-keeping, and thus, women need some level of financial independence in order to play this role well, emphasizing providing for children’s and family needs.
The event featured productive discussions on business opportunities, entrepreneurship, and formalizing of businesses.
Some business opportunities were identified in the fields of agriculture, food and clothing upon which the women could build their entrepreneurial ideas into firms.
Madam Yuorpor also implored the women to take steps to formalize their business saying that “there will come a time if you do not formalize your business, you cannot operate.”
She added that when a business is registered, it enables ease of access to support schemes or even loan facilities to soar up productivity.
Speaking at the event, Sumaila Chakurah, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for NoniHub, a technological innovation and business development organization in the Upper West Region, urged women entrepreneurs to responsibly manage their business capital to prevent avoidable collapse.
Mr Chakurah said that once monies were put into a business, the money belongs to the business setup and no longer the business owner’s.
He said it was a bad business habit to spend out the business funds without paying back or any refunding intention for same.
He enticed the women entrepreneurs to always see monies taken from the business coffers as loans that must be reimbursed.
Miss Zakiatu Abubakari who is a volunteer with the Mara consortium, speaking to the women urged them to provide quality guidance and mentorship to their adolescent boys and girls during the period of adolescence.
She noted that the life of an adolescent is often characterized by many physiological, physical, and psychological changes that make the individual behave in subtly unpredictable ways.
She said such behaviors could cause the adolescent to engage in some uncharitable acts that could jeopardize their lives in many ways if not properly cared for.
Abubakari Wata, a Unit Committee member who spoke on behalf of the Assembly Member of the Guo Electoral Area, Hon Osman Adams thanked Mara Foods for choosing Siriyiri for the event saying that “your choice of Siriyiri for this outreach means you have the development of the community at heart and we are grateful for that.”
He reiterated that the engagement was very important and urged the women to take maximum advantage of opportunity, adding that training would help the women in their business.
Beneficiaries of the event numbering close to 100 expressed their appreciation to Mara Foods and promised to use the knowledge so imparted to their optimum benefit.
Madam Guonaa Munira, a beneficiary said the training was insightful and was particularly excited about the prospects of Shea nut and ‘dawadawa’ processing businesses she was exposed to.
Another beneficiary, Madam Nihad Suleman also appealed to the Central government and other benevolent organizations to offer them financial support to boost their business capital for expansion.