The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) and the Mastercard Foundation have announced a partnership with two leading e-commerce operators, Plendify Inc. and Tonaton.com to create an online marketplace to support women and young entrepreneurs promote their products and connect with customers globally.
In addition to opening access to both local and international markets, qualified business owners will benefit from capacity building in branding and digital marketing to increase their revenue while unlocking sustainable job opportunities for young Ghanaians.
The initiative falls directly under the MSME Business Acceleration (MBA) component of the multi-year Mastercard Foundation and GEA Young Africa Works Project, which aims to support women entrepreneurs with brand building, business promotion, and access to new markets.
The online shop themed: “Made in Ghana Concept Shop” will host and market products from targeted MSMEs, including Ghanaian-owned/led businesses; Women-owned/led businesses, Businesses with a minimum of five employees (both permanent and casual), Start-ups owned by women and Unique product offerings.
Plendify Inc and tonation.com specialise in e-commerce, retail, and financial technology and have been at the forefront of growing e-commerce in Ghana for several years.
The collaboration brings together decades of experience to help youth and women owned enterprises benefit from global e-commerce and digital marketing opportunities.
“It is important to note that the digital space is expanding rapidly, bringing with it an increasing need to develop initiatives that allow women and young entrepreneurs to scale up their businesses and also access new markets. That is why we are excited about this partnership, and we hope more organizations will come on board to support women and youth-owned MSMEs to scale their operations,” said Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, Chief Executive Officer of GEA.
In March 2021, GEA announced a similar initiative with Lokko House Limited, to support women-owned MSMEs market their products via an online marketplace.
The platform continues to build traction and onboard women entrepreneurs across the country.
“In an increasingly digitized world, enabling access to digital market platforms for women and young entrepreneurs will help accelerate their growth and build their capacity to take advantage of global opportunities as they rebuild their businesses,” said Mastercard Foundation’s Regional Director for West, Central and Northern Africa, Nathalie Akon Gabala.
The Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA)/Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works Project is an entrepreneurship development and employment programme targeted at young people, particularly young women, in Ghana.
The Project, therefore, falls under the Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment Programme (YEEP) of GEA.
The Project is being implemented in Ghana by GEA and will create employment and income-generation opportunities for 39,000 young men and women in Ghana of which 70 percent of the 39,000 beneficiaries will be women.
The Project leverages on existing GEA flagship Programs such as the Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurship (A2E), Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Hubs, and the Kaizen Program. These programs are delivered through the 185 Business Advisory Centres/Business Resource Centres across the country and in collaboration with other Young Africa Works partners in Ghana.