The third week has gone so fast with excitements of preparing workshops for young female entrepreneurs and having meetings with three microfinance companies.
Vicky and I were quite excited for this project since it relates to our area and experience in business. As a group, we had many discussions about content and work divisions to prepare for the workshop, which was held on Friday 16th August. We realised that many Ghanaian young women would want to start their own businesses but most of them do not understand the process of preparing and launching a brand new business. Additionally, there are many challenges that they need to overcome to open their own businesses. Therefore, we came up with the content that mainly focused on steps to opening your own business, how to write a good business plan, and what is microfinance and how they can support your business.
Earlier in the week, we had introduction meetings with three microfinance companies in Koforidua which we found really helpful for our workshop on Friday. The representatives explained to us their company’s products and conditions for giving out loans to support small businesses, and the processes clients go through.
On Friday we arrived at the venue to prepare for our workshop. Unfortunately, there was no electricity so we could not do our power point presentation and had to replace it with a white board. The workshop started around 12:30 with the registration of 25 ladies. Present at the workshop were both young girls and older women. Through our interactions with the participants, we quickly learned that all the attendants were interested in starting their own businesses, while others had their own business yet they wanted to learn more about it. While most of them had very little experience in writing business plans, others had no idea about the subject matter. Since it was hard to explain some technical words, we gave Ghanaian examples and broke out into six small groups for discussions. Then, a representative from Women Trust microfinance spoke to the participants about financial supports that they can seek from her institution. Everybody showed interest and they asked many questions. At the end of the workshop, lunch was served and we surprised the participants with gifts we had brought from Canada. They were all so excited and very appreciative of our little gesture.
It was a long day for us however I learned many things about workshop facilitation, leading group discussions and how to interact with people when doing presentation. I am really enjoying all these new experiences in Ghana!
– Ngoc Nguyen, Youth Ambassador, Ghana 2013
To read more about volunteer’s experiences overseas, check out our Travel Diary.