Young female artisans face a myriad of challenges in their quest to secure appropriate documentation for their businesses and have access to decent work opportunities within the construction sector. Some women who seek to formalize their businesses are sexually harassed, while others are defrauded or forced to offer monetary, sexual and other favours in order to overcome the hurdles that characterize business formalization and certification.
In partnership with Artisans Association of Ghana, PDA is providing business formalization and development support to 100 young female artisans in their pursuit to legitimize their participation and decision-making power in the traditionally male-dominated construction industry. Through knowledge sharing, skills enhancement, and coaching and mentorship opportunities, the Young Female Businesses for Growth (YoFeB-4G) project strengthens the networks of young women within the construction sector to ensure a safe, secure and healthy work environment for them, while equipping them to formalize and expand their business, leading to improved career and livelihood outcomes.
This initiative provides young female artisans with the needed knowledge, attitudes, skill and capacity to formalize their businesses, to fairly compete with their male counterparts in the space, to expand their business, and be able to train other young female artisans to establish their own businesses. This will empower them financially and enhance their decision-making power at the personal, household and community levels. It will also improve their competitiveness in the construction value chain as they will be able to secure proper documentation for their businesses and bid for larger contracts.
The key objectives of the project include but are not limited to the following:
- · To support young female artisans in formalizing their businesses as MSMEs and start-ups.
- · To help them comply to the various regulations and certification requirements of their industry;
- · To strengthen their competitiveness, enable them to access decent opportunities in the construction industry and empower them financially;
- · To help them deal with possible challenges on their journey to formalization, including sexual harassment
The Young Female Businesses for Growth (YoFeb-4G) project falls under the Partner Innovation Fund (PIF) provided by the Government of Canada through the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Ghana. It is being implemented by the Artisans Association of Ghana (AAG) and Participatory Development Associates (PDA) through five (5) major phases:
- Business Formalization training: through the production of a Business Formalization manual and in-person training sessions
- TVET Skills Enhancement training: through visits to KNAUF Ghana and BOSCH Ghana to apprise female artisans of upgrades in available tools and skills for their work
- Mentorship Programme: through virtual and in-person meetings with female entrepreneurs in various trade areas within the construction industry
- Advocacy Campaigns: through periodic social media campaigns, stakeholder meetings and dialogues
- Ongoing monitoring and evaluation/learning meetings
The project is still ongoing.
NB: The Business Formalization manual is available for download here.