Rita Cobbald, 23, the youngest Global Mamas seamstress, opened her own store in October. The new Rita’s Designs location stands on busy Master Sam Road, north of Cape Coast’s Kotokuraba Market. The store has helped Rita gain more customers as well as increased confidence in her business.
Before joining Women in Progress in May 2004, Rita worked out of her home. She had financial problems and found it hard to feel motivated. She later shared a small space with a friend. Rita then joined Global Mamas and saved enough money with her consistent profits to open the new store.
Rita says that her new store has more space and keeps her busy. “I feel more comfortable about the store because when I was in the house, sometimes you feel lazy because you are not doing anything,” she says. “But when I came to the store, you always find yourself busy doing something.”
“That is why I like the store,” she says. “Because the place is more lovely, and we enjoy it. We don’t have to stay in the house anymore.”
Rita has been able to hire a new employee, take on an apprentice and pay off an old retail debt. Her next goal is to buy a new sewing machine.
By Gifty Saal
With the declaration of the golden age of business by the current government, women have not been left out! There has been a lot of encouragement from the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and quite a number of NGOs, one of which is Women in Progress, to help small business women acquire business skills and enable them to expand their businesses.
With the forth-coming presidential elections, the major issues to be raised when helping Ghanaian small business woman helps in extending the “life” of the income purse in the home are the following:
- What trade policies will the next president initiate and support?
- Will he have the welfare of the small business woman at heart?
- Will there be any changes in taxation that may adversely affect small businesses?
- What will the government do to promote investor confidence and attract foreign direct investments?
- Will the current healthy business atmosphere be sustained to enable small businesses to thrive?
These are the burning issues on the minds of the up-and-coming small business women. I strongly believe these issues can be addressed if women are educated to have a positive attitude toward voting and to study carefully each presidential manifesto in order to make a right and objective choice.
Gifty Saal is the owner/manager of Giftex Impex, a batiking enterprise in Cape Coast. With Gifty’s positive attitude, keen business mind, and artistic ability, she is well equipped to quickly expand her business through international trade.
by Esther Gyepi-Garbrah
Nothing comes on a silver platter regarding emerging as or being a successful woman. There are many significant and pertinent key words that lead to a tremendous number of women becoming successful. In my opinion, adhering to these certain key words as a guideline determines the tendency to succeed or substantially emerge as a successful woman. They are as follows: Education, Target, Enterprise, Dedication, Efficiency, Focus, Strategy, and Management. These are the paramount qualities for a woman’s establishment or venture. Furthermore, the success also becomes attainable when the above-mentioned keys are applied properly, in a working format. From my perspective, a typical, successful woman is always characterized by certain qualities. They are as follows: determination, good customer relations, willingness to work hard, patience, and tolerance. The questions, “How can a woman’s dreams come true?” and “What is the possibility of achieving success?” are challenging ones, but perhaps they could be answered most simply by one word: Education. Education, commonly referred to as the key to success, is so powerfully able to enrich and expose you to all the significant ethics of professionalism. In conclusion, I believe strongly that if women will enthusiastically welcome submission to all these disciplines, they will improve their opportunities to emerge as successful women.
Esther Gyepi-Garbrah is the owner/manager of My Redeemer Fashions and was an inaugural member of Women in Progress. She successfully manages six full and part-time employees and has seen her business double in just two years.
On May 6, eight women entrepreneurs received their diplomas signifying completion of their Women in Progress’ computer training class. Volunteer Beth Davidson, an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, created and instructed the training course. The course includes instruction on introduction to computer, Microsoft Office and Word, browsing the Internet, and typing. The eight graduates were Comfort Koomson, Florence Thompson, Elisabeth Ampiah, Emma Myers, Cecelia Quiacoo, Janet , Esther Gyepi-Garbah, and Alice Korsah. Women in Progress offers these graduates access to computers and software where they can put their knowledge to use by keeping their business accounts on the computer.
Women in Progress continues to use the course developed by Ms. Davidson to teach women computer skills. There are currently over ten students being taught by four volunteers. Computer training will continue to be an important part of Women in Progress’ efforts to help local Ghanaian women grow their businesses.