13 Female-led horticulture business owners have been certified by HortiFresh through MDF West Africa for successfully completing the first (1st) HortiFresh Female Business Accelerator Program.
The Graduation ceremony took place at the Mensvic Grand hotel on Friday, October 1, 2021, where the certificates and plaques were handed out to graduands by the Program Manager of HortiFresh Mrs. Sheila Assibey-Yeboah, and the Lead Business Development Services of MDF West Africa, Susanne Roelofsen.
The coaching program is aimed at strengthening the capacity of female entrepreneurs in the horticulture sector under the HortiFresh Access to Finance component.
The nine-month program has been designed to focus on five key areas; business strategy, sales and marketing, human resource, business administration and financial management. It also addressed key challenges in the management of horticulture businesses.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Program Manager of HortiFresh, Sheila Assibey-Yeboah highlighted the importance of capacity strengthening in the area of financial and business management. She noted that this will go a long way to position businesses in the horticulture sector for support from the financial sector and impact communities.
The Lead Business Development Services of MDF West Africa, the consulting and implementing partner for the Female Business Accelerator coaching program, Susanne Roelofsen expressed appreciation to HortiFresh for the opportunity to train these businesses and commended the 13 entrepreneurs for completing the program.
According to her, this is a key milestone in getting their businesses ready to tap into opportunities available in the financial sector. She urged all the female entrepreneurs to strictly adhere to and implement the various elements of the program in the day-to-day management of their businesses.
In an interview with one of the participants, Ms. Marianne Titus Glover, Chief Executive Officer, Anne’s Garden dealers in Flowers, Cooking Herbs, and House Plants; expressed her gratitude to HortiFresh and MDF West Africa, describing the course as ‘an eye-opener to her business’.
“I will like to say thank you to HortiFresh and MDF West Africa for the support and the coaching. I can say the course has opened my eyes to a lot of things I did not know can help my business to be a solid one”.
Touching on challenges, she said lack of grants is a major challenges women faced in the horticulture business to sustain their business.
She then called on the government and other cooperative bodies to support women in horticulture with grants rather than loans.
She further called for more coaching programs which will help them build a solid business.
HortiFresh is a programme supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands which has prioritized commercial agriculture in its strategic plan of moving from aid to trade.
The programme’s mission is to establish “a sustainable and internationally competitive fruit and vegetable sector that contributes to inclusive economic growth, food and nutrition security” in Ghana and Ivory Coast.
The programme aims to reach 15,000 farmers and increase their productivity by 20% by 2021.
The HortiFresh programme consists of two components: fruits and vegetables. In Ghana, attention is being given to the fruit and vegetable sectors while focusing on other regional fruit supply chain dimensions in the surrounding countries like Ivory Coast.
The objectives include improving productivity in the vegetable sector; facilitating more efficient markets, including linking vegetable producers and other value chain operators with the Dutch private sector; improving the business climate and further professionalizing the value chain for vegetable production and consumption in Africa.
About MDF West Africa
Training and Consultancy organisation with 35 years of experience in providing management training, advisory and evaluation services worldwide. We believe in building on existing knowledge and experiences to create long-lasting effects. Our services are diverse but have three things in common – they are driven by new concepts and theories, are practical, and lead to new insights.