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GCIC’s Cohort 6 Women Entrepreneurs Transformation Programme (WETP)

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Women’s multiple roles and responsibilities compete for their time and attention, often leading to stress, inner conflict, and guilt. GCIC’s annual Women Entrepreneurs Transformation Programme (WETP) is a series of workshops designed to support its women cohort as they juggle womanhood and entrepreneurship in the Ghanaian context.

This year’s workshops began in April and have been on the themes of Self Leadership, Skilful Parenting and Relationships, with Barriers to Financing to follow.

In case you are wondering why such a programme is called for, consider the following:
• Entrepreneurs bring a vision to reality, using limited resources including human capital, time, and finance.
• An entrepreneur’s own time, intellect, leadership, and effort are key resources.
• A female entrepreneur is often also a mother, wife, and daughter. And in the local context, these social roles are viewed as pre-eminent for a woman.

A woman’s traditional roles are considered by society to be the perfect fit for her – homemaker, caregiver, nurturer, and backup support to a leading male – and she is expected and socialised to dedicate herself to these. A woman entrepreneur wants to execute these roles well and still achieve her business dreams, hence her conflicted feelings, society’s judgement, guilt and sometimes loneliness.

Also, consider these scenarios:
• A woman business founder leads her team to an important meeting, but once there her counterparts ignore her. Instead, her staff are deferred to because they are men and therefore, must be the real leaders. As a woman, her title of CEO is seen as a token, and she could not possibly be the decision-maker of the group.
• A woman CEO attends business meetings and must spend time and effort to bring the topic back to business and away from her looks, agreeing to a date or worse.
• A female entrepreneur is repeatedly refused a bank loan because her business is too small, not in the right sector, or is not considered viable in the hands of a woman.

The WETP workshops provide a safe space for women to learn, share experiences, ask questions and challenge the status quo. They are helped to navigate the multiple roles, spaces, pressures, and prejudices to thrive, realise their visions and succeed in business.

Against this background, Self-Leadership provided participants with tools on how to grow their leadership skills by empowering themselves to know who they are, learn the power of their voice, and also inspire leadership in those around them.

Skilful Parenting taught mothers how to raise healthy well-adjusted children. Participants learnt to recognize potential threats and developmental challenges and received tips on how to deal with them. Topics included child development, understanding temperament, communicating with your children, and instilling self-esteem and values.

The Relationship workshop was about building and growing rewarding relationships at work and designing fulfilling bonds at home. Participants were taught how to appreciate themselves and better communicate what they want to those around them, both at work and at home.

Watch this space for more on the WETP and how GCIC is levelling the playing field for its cohort members.