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FunTimes Magazine

The Role of Female Entrepreneurs In Africa

By Nana Ama Addo

Africa is the second largest continent on earth, and is abundant with a variety of cultures, resources and wealth. However, it has been ranked as the poorest continent. Accordingly, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of many African countries have been listed as having some of the highest poverty rates in the world. Amidst corruption, a colonial legacy and opportunistic foreign aid, a question bubbles to the surface: How do we empower Africa, and create sustainable solutions to poverty?

Entrepreneurship can be used as a vehicle to develop Africa’s economy. People are doing amazing work on the continent. In 2019, the African Development Bank reported that 22% of Africa’s working population was starting its own business; giving Africa the highest rate in the world. According to African Exponent, more than 122 million new jobs will be needed in Africa by 2022. Entrepreneurship can help fill this gap. The MasterCard Index of Women’s Entrepreneurship (MIWE) produced a report in 2019 that states that the West Africa country of Ghana, is producing the most female entrepreneurs on the globe. It was indicated that 46.4 of the businesses are owned by women. Perhaps the future is female. FunTimes Magazine spoke with two entrepreneurs in Ghana to learn how they have turned their passion into profit in a growing economy, and the trials and tribulations involved in being your own boss.

Caira Lee is an African American expat from Baltimore, Maryland. In 2016, she moved to Ghana for an internship, and decided to stay in the land of her ancestors. She is the founder and CEO of Ghifted, a merchandising company she started in June 2018. She is also a Marketing Assistant and a Therapist who lives in Accra, Ghana.

Can you tell us about your journey into entrepreneurship? My father works for himself at 60 years old as a personal trainer and massage therapist, so the possibility of entrepreneurship was normalized for me at a young age. After college I tried perusing a conventional 9-5 work life. It made me physical and mentally sick. I decided to leave my job and try building a business. Scary as hell, but definitely necessary. What are some things you wish you knew earlier about having your own business? I wish someone would have told me to start earlier. You can begin your own business as a child to be honest. Don’t wait too long to live your dream. What are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur? ● The courage ● Knowing who you are and what you want ● Following Gary Vee on Instagram What is it like being your own boss? It fits me so it feels great. Being your own boss is not for everyone, but when it’s for you and you go for it – every day feels like you’re on an amazing mission, living your purpose – and the possibilities just grow more and more What are some of the most rewarding parts of having your own business? ● Not dreading Mondays ● Always having something to talk passionately about ● Having responsibilities, therefore, learning responsibility What are some of the challenges of being a full time entrepreneur? ● No days off ● You slack (in the beginning), then you don’t eat ● Fighting off doubt What advice do you have for new business owners/ entrepreneurs? ● ‘Let’s get lunch!’; Always network, advocate for your product with excitement ● Speak positively only, solution-oriented always ● Follow Gary Vee on Instagram

Connect with her on social media: IG: @Xpriestess / @Gh.ifted /

Evelyn Twumasi is a Ghanaian- Ivorian loctician who is currently based in Accra, Ghana. In 2017, she started Masi’s loc studio, where she offers hair care, sells hair, sells clothes, and does piercings.

Can you tell us about your journey into entrepreneurship? After I finished beauty school, I worked at a shop and saved money until I could open my own shop. It's not easy but I love being an entrepreneur so I keep on pushing forward. What are some things you wish you knew earlier about having your own business? Looking at my target audience, starting out I wish I knew how to market to Ghanaians to get the right clientele.

What are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

● Know your craft and do it right ● Respect your Client ● Know how to deliver their service on time ● Treat your workers well What is it like being your own boss? It’s a blessing and it's a challenge. It makes you more mature and forces you to know how to manage money. What is the best part about being your own boss? The best part of having your own business is to see you handwork being admired by your client and training students.

What are some of the challenges that come with being an entrepreneur?

There are many challenges. Some of them are: ● Paying workers at the end of month when you know there's no money in the company account. ● Paying bills ● Lack of clients ● Buying goods that's are not movable What advice do you have for new business owners/ entrepreneurs? ● Work under someone who has knowledge about what you want to learn and study them ● Request feedback from your clients ● Focus on the work not WhatsApp

If you are ever in Accra, stop by Masi Hair Studio in Osu, Accra, on Oxford and Niles palm street next Frankophone. Connect with her on Instagram at @Official_MasiHairStudio