New Program Helps Increase Competitiveness of Women-Led Businesses
A new Alliance-led training program for women-led businesses is aimed at boosting the fund raising and management skills of women leaders in the clean cookstoves and fuel sector. Launched initially in Ghana at a workshop in June, the program seeks to increase the knowledge of women CEOs and leaders in fundraising and proposal development to attract grant funding for their social enterprises. During the one-day workshop, participants honed their skills in grant seeking, and increased their understanding of the international donor landscape. The Alliance designed and organized this training as part of its strategy to build the capacity of women-led companies to serve as more effective leaders in the sector.
Participants took a survey prior to and immediately following the workshop to assess their change in knowledge and confidence in developing a comprehensive proposal for new funding opportunities. The majority of participants reported an increase in confidence in their ability to clearly and persuasively explain their vision, mission, and goals; to plan and develop household energy programs using a logframe; and to effectively respond to the expectations, goals, and priorities of different donors. In addition, many participants reported that they could more clearly describe their company’s value proposition to a donor following the workshop. The Alliance also collected feedback on the quality of the training through an evaluation form, and will continue to adapt and adjust the training curriculum to best suit the needs of its partners.
Additional feedback received from participants following the training revealed that the workshop will enhance the capacity of their organizations to:
- Build and share data
- Build capacity of staff and leaders of the organization
- Increase access to finance through the writing of grant-winning proposals
- Raise awareness through increasing the leadership skills of young leaders
- Set and influence policies in the sector. For example, the Ghana Girl Guides Association indicated their intention to include clean cooking solutions in the Adult Manual, Guides’ Handbook, and Training Scheme of the Association as an effort to achieve sustainable development.
The women-led companies who participated in the training include: Global Bamboo, DAASGIFT Quality Foundation, Anomena Ventures, Ghana Girls Guides Association, ASA Initiative, Workpartnership International (WPI), and the Ghana Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and Fuels (GhACCO). The assembly woman for the Ofankor Electoral Area in the Ga West Municipal Assembly in the Greater Accra Region was also in attendance, Hon. Dilley Humu Saeed.
The Alliance gender programs team, Corinne Hart and Rachel Mahmud, facilitated the training by holding practical sessions on how to set a vision, mission, value proposition, goals, objectives, and log frames. The day ended with awarding each participants a certificate of completion. Of the 13 total attendees, 11 were women and 2 were men. Each woman leader was invited to bring a colleague to help enhance the capacity of each organization’s business development team.
Following the workshop, the Alliance and its partners at GhACCO will continue to follow up and monitor the progress of the leaders who participated in the training to assess the benefits of the training to their respective organizations.