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Adopt innovative measures to build business resilience – Ruka Sanusi to Small and Growing Green Businesses

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Executive Director of the Ghana Climate Change Innovation Center, Ruka Sanusi, has reiterated the importance of female entrepreneurs developing innovative measures to help build business resilience for small and growing businesses (SGB). She has, therefore, advocated for stringent measures aimed at addressing issues such as gender and cultural biases in entrepreneurship, access to business support, and financing modules among other factors.

She made this statement while delivering the keynote address to commence the panel discussion on gender equality and sustainable development at this year’s Incubating Climate Innovation Symposium organised by Ashesi University’s Ghana Climate Innovation Centre. Ms Sanusi said studies have shown that male-owned entrepreneurial firms significantly outperform female-owned firms around the globe.

“Globally, male-owned enterprises significantly outperform female-owned ones, and there are consistent cultural barriers for women in innovation-related fields and persistent gendered norms in entrepreneurship. When we put this together with climate change and its negative externalities, the need for climate action and more sustainable development is urgent. As our global community struggles to combat the effects of climate change, the small and growing business (SGB) sector has a vital role to play in developing adaptation solutions. However, gendered norms in entrepreneurship may slow these solutions”, she revealed.

Ruka Sanusi further stressed the need to build more confidence and support among women entrepreneurs to help their businesses grow, and improve innovative ideas, and livelihood.

The theme for this year’s symposium was “Building the Green Economy in Ghana: The Role of Gender and Entrepreneurship”. Incubating Climate Innovation is an annual thought-leadership symposium which brings to the fore the conversation on inclusive, sustainable economic development, gender, entrepreneurship, and support for the Green Economy.

In her Keynote address, the Canadian High Commissioner to Ghana H.E. Ms. Kati Csaba revealed that the Canadian Government is set to contribute $132.9 million to establish the Canada-African Development Bank Climate Fund to support climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts on the continent.

She said the fund will enhance women’s economic rights and participation in climate action and mobilize private capital to fill the climate investment gap in Africa.

“Canada understands that urgent action is needed to support climate action and that is why a doubling of our international climate finance commitment to $5.3 billion over the period 2022 – 2027 will respond to the current climate emergency, particularly in support of African countries which are disproportionately affected. These funds will contribute to strengthening Ghana’s ability to respond to the economic and social impacts of climate change and the damage caused by COVID-19.”, she stated.

In addressing the importance of a gender-based approach to addressing climate change, she added,

“The needs of women and girls are at the heart of Canada’s development assistance efforts, which are grounded in the six pillars of our Feminist International Assistance Policy.  Environment and climate action and ensuring growth that works for everyone are priorities that frame Canada’s work in Ghana.”

In delivering the Welcome address, the Provost of Ashesi University, Professor Angela Owusu-Ansah highlighted Ashesi University’s commitment to supporting sustainable climate-smart innovations while stressing the importance of “simple, novel and effective solutions to solving the complexities of climate change”.

“Fast fashion contributes to 10% carbon emissions and is a key contributor to global warming making it the second largest polluter behind the oil and gas industry. Designer houses on the contrary are in the business of slow fashion which purports quality and sustainability of clothes enabling consumers to buy fewer but more expensive classic-styled clothes less frequently making it a climate-friendlier fashion type. And so it is extremely brilliant to have a renowned fashion designer sign up with GCIC, still intent on changing how she can contribute to adaptation to climate change, the economy of the country and beyond”, she expressed.

GCIC is a pioneering national business incubator with a unique focus on developing SME ventures and entrepreneurs in Ghana’s ‘Green Economy’. Our mission is to develop and support an exceptional set of transformational ventures and entrepreneurs who are pioneering adaptive and mitigating solutions for climate change issues in Ghana. We do this with a focus on five key economic sectors (energy efficiency & renewable energy; solar power; climate-smart agriculture; domestic waste management; water management and purification), the provision of premium business advisory and business mentoring services, technical support in the development, prototyping and testing of their innovation, as well as financial Proof of Concept grants to qualifying SMEs within our incubator.

GCIC is an institute of Ashesi University and is currently funded by a grant from Global Affairs Canada. The Centre, with its partner, EY Ghana, offers a unique combination of experience and excellence in private sector development, climate change, entrepreneurship, education and training, and research and development know-how.