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Interest rates Killing SMEs – Asante   
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The President of the Eagle Women Empowerment Club (EWEC), Miss Juliet Asante, has observed that the current rise in interest rates is seriously affecting the operations of small and medium-scale enterprise (SMEs).

She said that was killing industries across the globe and called on the government to come up with measures that would help cushion such industries.

Briefing the media on the forthcoming women’s business summit to be opened from October 21 to 22, 2009 in Accra, she said SMEs were the backbone of every economy and that the time had come for government the world over to take action to ensure that all businesses came out of the global downturn successfully.

The summit, which will bring together businesswomen from across Africa to deliberate with their counterparts from the USA and other European countries on issues, is aimed at harnessing support for businesswomen against harsh economic conditions in Ghana and across Africa.

The programme is on the theme ‘Synchronizing global business – The new orientation for the African woman’ and is being organized by the Eagle Women Empowerment Club (EWEC) in collaboration with the African Business Women’s Network (ABWN) and facilitated by Vital Voices, Exxon Mobil Foundation and Fortune 500 companies.

Some of the side issues that would be dealt with at the conference would be dealt with at the conference would be dealt with at the conference would be to engage with policy and decision makers on October 20 and 23, 2009 on the need to empower women SMEs to help move the economy forward.

Some of the topics to be discussed during the summit are branding, creating customer value, satisfaction and loyalty, building and maintaining corporate image, succession, visionary leadership, mentoring and women transcending cultural limitations.

Other topics to be discussed include global trends and surviving the recession, learning from the recession, entering new markets, packaging, investment opportunities in Ghana and high interest rate and its implications among other topics.

The reason for the summit, according to the President of the EWEC, “is to awaken the woman to see the current world situation as an opportunity to fine tune better business people, through best practices and advocacy aimed at ensuring a better future for all peoples.

She said the EWEC aims at mentoring, as well as promoting networking among members and stressed the need for women to form broad networking groups where they could rely on each other for solidarity or support.

Some of the key speakers who will be taking the participants through the summit are seasoned economists such as Ms Pat Mitchell, CEO for Paley centre for media, USA; Ms Lauri J. Fitz-Pegado, partner of the Livingston Group (TLG), USA; Ms Stephanie Foster, Senior Vice-President, American Legacy Foundation Services Administration; Ms Fiona Egberts, CEO of Action for Moringa Nutrition in Ghana (AMONG), and Mr Yoofi Grant, a seasoned Ghanaian businessman.

A member of EWEC, Ms Abla Dzifa Gomashie, stressed the need for women operating SMEs to be assisted in advancing their cause saying that it was only when they succeeded that the country could also move forward.

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