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Commerce Ministry announces SME confab

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The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has announced a planned conference in November aimed at empowering Liberian women involved in Micro Small marker Enterprise.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry for Small Business Administration Mr. Andrew Paygar stressed the need to build the capacity of women, especially those engaged in businesses, including Medium and Small Market Enterprise, noting that for too long women have been left behind in many activities, including work and business, among others.

Addressing reporters Thursday, 1 September at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing in the Charles Gbeyon Conference Hall on Capitol Hill, Minister Paygar said in order for women to be more proactive in their business, the upcoming MSME conference will mainly focus on women empowerment.

According to him, the SME conference is an annual activity of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry that was initiated in 2013 in response to four core challenges of SME in Liberia, including Access to Finance, Access to Market, Legal and Regulatory Reform, and Capacity Building.
The Deputy Minister however added that the conference is a 4th flagship annual Micro-Medium Enterprise conference scheduled for November 15 to the 18 at the Monrovia City Hall.
He added the upcoming forum is expected to be the largest ever since the program inception in 2013, saying it will be held under the theme: From Vision to Implementation – Buying Liberia, Building Liberia” with focus on promoting women entrepreneurship for economic empowerment.

“This year’s conference will focus on women empowerment aimed at encouraging women entrepreneurship, promoting government inclusive growth agenda and helping women own business to build new partnership that can transform them”, Paygar explained.

He said, the conference will seek to highlight those high stakes associated with empowering females in business and at work, which will discuss and address some of the many possibilities for growth and improvement in the sector.

According to him, the key objectives of the conference are to change the mindset of Liberian women to see entrepreneurship as a possible option for job creation and income generation.
Other objectives he said include to recommend alternative sources of investment for women-owned business SME, especially young start up, to enhance the capacity of business owners, mainly female business owners wanting to become entrepreneurs, and to suggest ways to deliver affirmative business support programs to women entrepreneurs in Liberia.

“Our expected outcome from this conference is to elevate the status of women- owned SME and highlight the importance of female entrepreneurship in Liberia; to provide business networking among conference stakeholders for strategic business connection, to inform and inspire Liberian-owned business, to participate in the growth and development of the SME and see entrepreneurship as an option for job creation, and to train women owned SME in key business areas and provide the tools for them to better run their daily operation in the country.”

By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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