Women in Small and Medium Enterprises Benefit from Digital Marketing Training

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The Centre for Media and Women’s Empowerment (CMWE) in partnership with the National Youth Commission and International Construction Company (ICC) has conducted a one-day pilot training for women in small and medium enterprises in digital marketing. The training which was held at the CCSL hall in Freetown brought together women in fashion design, gara tie dying, make-up and cosmetics and other skills.

In a statement delivered by Ms. Assanatu Labelle Sillah on behalf of CMWE, she noted that CMWE decided to come up with the training to provide knowledge and expertise to small businesses to effectively leverage the social media space to market their products and increase sales.

Ms. Sillah added that, generally, customers are first attracted to products by their looks before touching and trying them and that branding and packaging are essential to attracting customers and enhance their satisfaction to the good or service. “While there are many social media platforms accessible by just connecting to the internet, entrepreneurs need the relevant skills to create likable content, increase social media reach, and attract customers, she noted.

She said CMWE as a non-profit organisation aims partner with more organisations in order to create a nationwide training on digital marketing and create a network of young entrepreneurs across the country who can learn and support each other.

Mr. Augustine Ellie, Programs and Partnership Manager for Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDA) said the agency is responsible to formulate and coordinate policies that will facilitate the integration and harmonization of various public and private sector initiatives for the promotion, development and regulation of Micro and Small Enterprises in Sierra Leone.

On the training, Mr. Ellie said they were delighted to be part especially because it targeted young women. He said the agency has been providing support to women SMEs across the country. He noted that the training was well in placed and they look forward to partnering with CMWE “we are also moving into the digital space for SMEs and this initiative is a great one we can tap into.” He said there is huge competition for business and in the sub-region Sierra Leone is yet to catch up in the digital space to enhance their businesses.

SHE LEADS Coordinator and Programs Head for Defence for Children International (DCI-SL) Ms. Hawanatu Mansaray in her statement said, the SHE LEADS is a consortium between Women’s Forum, Plan International and DCI-SL that works with girls and young women, stakeholders, parents, boys and young men and government institutions to build the leadership capacity of girls and young women, mentor them and amplify their voices for meaningful participation in decision making.

Ms. Mansaray applauded CMWE for the training opportunity that will empower young women in businesses. She stated that SHE LEADS would partner with CMWE in policy drive to amplify the voices for young women in business.

The Deputy Commissioner of the National Youth Commission Mr. Emerson Kamara in his keynote address said in order to address some of the challenges to unemployment, NAYCOM believes in Public-Partnership because government can only provide employment for a small number of the workforce. While he commended the organizers of the training he said the world is moving in a fast with innovative ideas and digital competition, therefore for businesses to survive in that space people need the necessary skills and expertise.

He challenged the trainees to make judicious use of their mobile data and presence online by being creative on pursuing their business ideas. He noted that doing business online reduces expenditure invested in the business, bridge distance and saves times.

Mr. Kamara further encouraged the participants to make use of the free digital training space at their office in New England to enhance their digital skills. He emphasized that branding and packaging are very important in business and with the skills acquired doing the training the participants should endeavor to put into practice and share knowledge with others.

A participant Matilda Kobba said the training was beneficial to her as she learnt about branding and packaging which will attract customers to her business. She said she was grateful for the opportunity as the knowledge gained will help her to grow her business.

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