Social Enterprise Ghana has started nationwide advocacy for its over 600 members to improve the economic rights of vulnerable women and youth.
This is to enable them to access government services which will help them attain an adequate standard of living to create sustainable livelihoods.
The advocacy started with the training of 35 regional leads and partners at the Volta Serene Hotel at Ho in the Volta Region by Reach for Change, Ghana.
Executive Director of Social Enterprise Ghana, Edwin Zu-Cudjoe said the advocacy action would involve training of 500 youth and women.
The beneficiaries get to access government services and engage duty bearers as well as government officials on the need to develop programmes and policies that would improve the standard of living of vulnerable women and youth.
“The nationwide media campaign is targeted at educating the trainees on their economic rights, dialogue and feedback sessions with duty bearers and other stakeholders,” he added.
At the training session held to prepare Social Enterprise Ghana regional leads and partners for the national advocacy, the Country Manager for Reach for Change, Ghana, Solomon Twum advised entrepreneurs.
“Merely sitting on radio and television or posting on social media would not drive government or state agencies to do what they wish.
“Entrepreneurs and businesses must know the rules and regulations to enable them to advocate for a business-friendly environment,” he said.
Mr Twum added that most social entrepreneurs and vulnerable groups surveyed in their research conducted in January, 2020, lacked knowledge on the processes to engage government agencies and effectively engage in advocacy.
The training would improve their capacity to engage government officials to provide them with feedback and co-develop programmes and policies required to improve their standard of living.
The Africa Regional Director, Reach for Change, Amma Sefa-Dedeh Lartey, said she envisages a supportive community for social entrepreneurs in the short term as the sector holds numerous prospects for the country.
“If we want a Ghana beyond aid, we should invest in social enterprises so that as the economy improves, social problems are solved and we have very socially responsible businesses that can take us into the prosperous life that we want for the country, ” she added.
Catherine Boafo, a member of Social Enterprise Ghana and owner of Mawutwueni Ghana Ltd, was impressed with the training.
She said the session “has equipped me with advocacy skills necessary for improving the economic rights of vulnerable women and youth as part of efforts in financial sustainability and economic empowerment.”
With 600 social enterprises under its wing, Social Enterprise Ghana supports and connects social entrepreneurs to finance, markets and advocates for business friendly policies and environments.
The training would benefit vulnerable groups and would strengthen their engagement with government agencies and better influence government policies.