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Headstart: A teen’s guide to financial freedom for young entrepreneurs

Savings.png Janice learned a lot from her internship

Fri, 6 Nov 2020 Source: thebusiness24online.net

Eighteen-year-old Janice Preko, a student of SOS – Hermann Gmeiner International College (SOS-HGIC) in Tema has set out on a noble cause to help build a more financially secure future for young entrepreneurs, especially leaders of women-owned small and medium sized enterprises in Ghana and beyond.

Her impressions from a short internship at a women-centered microfinance company kindled in her a longing to tackle a peculiar problem that has kept a majority of Ghanaian women below the line of financial independence.

The best way to go about this vision and to make the most impact, to her, was to write a book. So with her first literary piece, “Headstart: First Steps to Managing your Money”, existing and future women entrepreneurs, especially those running small and medium enterprises have a practical guide to set them on a path to both financial and business success.

The vision: building an ecosystem of robust and viable women-led businesses with ready access to funding either through an enhanced savings culture, strong-willed action on financial literacy and inclusion or both.

She shared with Business24 her motivation for writing the book: “I consider myself as someone who has identified a problem and wants to help solve it in a manner that I will be able to accomplish and hopefully will be impactful.”

Janice learned a lot from her internship: the fact that the proportion of women-owned businesses in Ghana is about 46 percent—which is the highest in the world; that financial literacy best equips entrepreneurs to sustain their business regardless of economic conditions and that many women struggle when it comes to financing their business.

Armed with this information, she embarked on extensive research on the causes and solutions to these challenges to support young people and aspiring entrepreneurs in her community.

Headstart: First Steps to Managing your Money, which took six months to complete, is therefore a product of intensive research into topical issues around women and entrepreneurship including the lack of access to credit and bank accounts for women-led SMEs, poor savings culture in women and the need for enhanced financial literacy.

The book is suited to the young and older reader. It is written in simple language devoid of the heavy, technical financial jargon in order to help readers understand and apply the new knowledge acquired to their everyday lives and for maximum impact.

It uses several practical examples from characters that the reader can easily identify with and whose financial journeys are aimed at inspiring readers to mirror.

There is also a summary financial planner included in the book which enables the reader to put everything they have read in the book on budgeting into practice.

“I felt that a book written by a teenager would resonate with more young people. I also hope that it brings a new perspective on finance; most finance books tend to be a heavy read and so not that engaging to the average person.”

“My book is not too technical, it is very easy to understand and hopefully will allow readers to apply the concepts to their everyday lives,” Janice told Business24.

She also believes that financial inclusion and the culture of savings are key to poverty reduction and wealth building and hopes that through her book, people will get used to saving their money, starting with small amounts and increasing this steadily.

“Starting small allows you to develop the skill, discipline and mindset that fosters a savings culture,” she explained.

As a means to boost financial literacy across the country, the writer has reached out to a number of local and international organisations that are running financial literacy programs to donate her books to them for training and capacity building.

“It is my hope that Headstart will be used in several financial literacy programs across Ghana and dare I say across Africa to provide people with the resource they need to better understand finance and apply it to their day to day lives,” she added.

She is however appealing to donors to support her to print more books for distribution to more institutions so more women and young persons can benefit.

Looking into the future, Janice intends to embark on additional projects that will be impactful to the community.

An area of particular interest is understanding the use of technology in societies and finding ways to bridge the digital divide.

Also, with her non-profit company, Herposse, whose goal is to empower and inspire women entrepreneurs, she hopes to identify ways to help address some of the challenges facing women entrepreneurs in Africa.

Source: thebusiness24online.net