Celebrating the Illiterate But Excellent Ghanaian Business Women: My Token for the 2019 Mother’s Day

Edna B. Shearer

Ghana as a country can boost of considerable numbers of hardworking women who despite their limitations with formal literacy education, try to make ends meet while providing their families with all the material needs. This is true of these diligent women who support their husbands in tendering the home. There are countless single mothers who have taken upon themselves the dual roles of fathers and mothers, providing the physical and spiritual needs of their children. The greatest contribution of these industrious Ghanaian business women that has not received literary attention is their extraordinary business skills.

The Ghanaian business women do not hastily jump into any business venture. They undertake market surveys to find out the possibility of registering higher revenue from the proposed business venture. They do this to find sustainable supply of their tradable items, possible target market and successful distribution vents. In addition, they carefully choose strategic areas to perch their tents, kiosks or stores. They carry a thorough search to find out clients who ply the area, their preferences and interests in particular items that register quick sales before starting the business venture. Though they don’t have any well documented business plans, they have their business structured and well planned.

Interestingly, Ghanaian business women have a unique way of attracting customers. They have extraordinary customer relations. They talk gently and very respectfully to their clients, sometimes using flattery speech to lure clients into forging a lasting business relationship with them. Hardly would they vent their anger on clients. This is unusual of typical Ghanaian business women! They hide their personal embattled pain and agony and wear, as it were, their teeth openly to portray friendliness so as to win clients. They are also quick to apologize and amend goods that customers complain as having industrial faults.

Ghanaian business women also demonstrate exceptional purchasing, supplying and marketing skills. When their items arrive, they single-handedly assist the hired laborers in off-loading them from the vehicles. They would have their small mini books for keeping every little detail of the items received as well as those distributed at the supply joint. Their limited mathematics knowledge would not restrain them from keeping clean and comprehensive records of their business transactions. Even before their goods arrive, they would call their customers and inform them, while keeping track of their inventory of items. They daily deposit their sales at the banks so as not to squander their business capital. When they run at losses, they do not lose hope or stop the business. They quickly solicit for business loans with flexible terms of payment to strengthen their businesses and keep it running.

The remarkable business and entrepreneurial skills demonstrated by Ghanaian business women needs to be hailed and acknowledged even as the world celebrates mothers this week. However, measures must be put in place by the Ghanaian government and the ministry of trade to assist these industrious business women in overcoming the heinous challenges they face while undertaking their businesses. A cardinal problem has to do with recommending traditional banks for these women to do business with. It is disheartening to know how the young and unscrupulous financial institutions deceive these women and run away with their hard-earned money. Usually, they deceive these women by promising them very low-interest rates on their loan facilities as well as very fat interest returns on their savings. The traditional banks of integrity must reach out to these industrious business women and offer them best deals in terms of interests on their savings as well as interests on the business loans they would apply for. The government must keep her fight against dissolving all selfish financial institutions set up to dupe these industrious business women of their business gains.

Also, business and entrepreneurial institutions must periodically organize workshops for these illiterate business women to assist them in upgrading their business and entrepreneurial skills. These refreshing engagements would also enlighten them on modern methods of doing business as well as on how to use simple E-tools for stock and/or record keeping. Sound directions on how to avert business risks and how to mobilize the sales of their products through enhanced purchasing, marketing and supply chain management approaches can be given via these business seminars and workshops. This would immensely help these hardworking and industrious Ghanaian business women to contribute significantly to the economy of Ghana.

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