The Minister of Commerce and Industry Alex Addy has emphasized that Liberian women have played vital roles in the Liberian economy, something for which they must be applauded. He said women’s continued participation in the economy will actually help to move the country toward positive growth.
Speaking Tuesday, 15 November at the 2016 SAB National MSME Conference in Monrovia, Minister Addy indicated that with over 49 percent of Liberia’s population, women make up nearly half of the society, noting that various studies have shown that they remain under-represented among the ranks of entrepreneurs and excluded from crucial economic activities.
The Commerce Minister noted the most women-owned businesses are found in less productive sectors and remain largely invisible in corporate and government supply chains. He further stressed that women are only in charge of one in five exporting companies globally and remain predominantly employed in the informal sector, occupying low-skill jobs in Liberia as a result of various obstacles ranging from education to access to credit and lack of women’s Networks.
He said in order to promote women entrepreneurship and create more women-owned businesses here, training should be a paramount to help them continually in serving as strong driver in the economy, adding, “We will promote women entrepreneurship for Economic Empowerment.”
Addy revealed that in Liberia, women already manage a significant share of their registered SMEs (34%) and are dynamic entrepreneurs, noting that Liberian women are even more likely than men to start their own businesses (69% of women compared to 56%r only of men), which underlines the importance of enabling them to unlock their entrepreneurial potential.
He said this year’s conference will focus on providing ample room for discussion between key stakeholders in the public and private sectors regarding challenges women face in running their businesses and what policymakers, business community and civil society can do to advance their roles in business and society.
By Zee Roberts