Pa’ba In Techpreneurship. Accelerating Female Digital Inclusion in Ghana

The world we live in is rapidly becoming digital every day which has continuously affected our everyday processes and how we relate and interact with people even at our work and business places. This has also influenced the recruitment requirements at workplaces, such that one must at least be an ICT literate to secure a job. It has been evident in the incidence of the outbreak of Covid-19, the majority of people lived and carried out their tasks digitally from home. This meant that a lot of people would have found difficulties in their jobs or businesses if they were not familiar with some technical skills that will allow them to easily adapt to the sudden change. Many companies have leveraged technology to innovate their processes and models. This amongst many more reasons makes computer literacy very important.

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Entrepreneurship has increasingly become the heart of Ghanaian women. In an published by the Mastercard Index of Women’s Entrepreneurship (MIWE), it indicated that Ghana has the highest percentage of women business owners (46.4%). Also in an  on the rate of employment in the Industrial Sector by Gender published by the World Bank, it highlighted that Northern Ghana has the highest number of females in the labor participation in the industrial employment. Many graduates who are unemployed are able to sustain themselves through entrepreneurship Majority of these graduates are females and even females who finally land themselves jobs still engage in entrepreneurship.

HOPin Academy has held numerous workshops, events, and training programs over the years. Also, the results of our monitoring and evaluation exercises, showed that A reasonable percentage of these females who have passed through our training programs, workshops, etc are highly innovative business owners but lack the adequate digital skills and knowledge to actively compete with businesses outside the Northern Region. Due to this amongst many other reasons, Pagba in Techpreneurship was initiated.

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The Pag’ba in Techpreneurship program (P.I.T) program translates as Women/Ladies in Technology Entrepreneurship. It is a program we run yearly to convene ladies in Technology and Entrepreneurship or ladies who are interested in learning Technology and Entrepreneurship. At the end of each cohort, a hackathon is organized in the form of a conference, and businesses are birthed. The conference is all-female where female resource persons are invited to speak on a subject matter relevant to the ladies after which the ladies are given the opportunity to pitch their innovative business ideas for a grant. This is to promote gender and digital inclusion in Northern Ghana and also help young women own businesses.

This year We started the program with a call for applications and had over 100 applicants, Then we went through a rigorous selection process and 30 applicants were selected.

We had our first meeting on Wednesday, 23 September 2020, It was an info session to brief trainees on what the training entailed and the scope of the curriculum. We commenced the training on Monday, 28th of September 2020, and concluded on the 20th of November. The training program spanned eight weeks.

Our trainees learned advanced google search strategies and delved into the internet infrastructure, basic UI, and UX design, and then web design using WordPress. They then had a session on design thinking and then climaxed it with business development training with a special focus on the Lean Model CanvasWe held our long-awaited all-female conference on the 20th of November 2020. The program started with a prayer, an opening remark, and a speech by the Senior Assistant Registrar at the University for Development Studies, Hajia Faida Alolo on career management for women.

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Trainees made their pitches afterward and we had a renowned spoken word artist, Abdul Majeed Fatima(Gifted Tima) perform poetry on the value and strength of African women. We had ten startups pitch their ideas with websites and they will be awarded hosting and domain names and enrolled in our incubator program for further support. Some of the ideas were in Real-Estate, Agriculture, beauty and skincare, healthy diets, etc.

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