Efforts to encourage more women into entrepreneurship would yield results if supporting structures are put in place to help young women to start businesses at an early stage so that they can learn from their mistakes as they grow, Kiran Daswani, CEO of The Greens, an eco-friendly residential developer, has said.
She said women in Ghana today, are more capable of achieving greater feats if they can persevere, have consistency and unshakeable faith. She, however, noted that more supporting mechanisms, an enabling environment, and most importantly, the confidence to take a risk and start from an early age and learn from mistakes as they grow, are needed to spur women on. In terms of limitations, she believes that there are little or no limitations for women but the ones they impose on themselves.
“Women are producers of life, nurturers, caregivers, and custodians of humanity. Throughout history, women have had an enterprising spirit. What I believe is lacking is the support mechanism, the enabling environment, and most importantly the confidence to take a risk and start. I feel younger women should get into entrepreneurship at an early age so that they can make mistakes and learn from them as they grow,” she said when asked, what can be done to encourage more women to venture into entrepreneurship.
Born in Spain but raised in Cote D’Ivoire, and currently living between Accra and Dubai, she said being a female CEO in the male dominated real estate industry has brought her more advantages than disadvantages: “The journey to the top might be harder as a woman, however, once you do make it, people are aware of the challenges you faced and treat you with greater respect and admiration.”
Achieving inclusive growth
To Kiran Daswani, who is also a Membership Officer of the Young Presidents’ Organisation (YPO)- Ghana Chapter, an organisation that brings young Chief Executive Officers together, inclusiveness comes from respecting that everyone has something to contribute and that respect for every talent, gender, race and ability is a starting point.
She is also a firm believer that as a people and society, wanting goodness and success for one another is the only way to come together without having to pull the other down, regardless of whether they are male or female.
This, she noted, explains why at The Greens, employees are selected not based on unalterable factors such as gender or race, Instead, she said the focus must be on their capabilities and what they bring to the table.
“We are all firm advocates of gender equality and hope to break the stereotype that real estate is a man’s field. Starting at the top with me and venturing around the company, our sales team is over 50 percent female, which is led by our brilliant sales manager Sarah Agyebeng,” madam Daswani stated.
Pandemic’s impact on real estate sector
According to her, the pandemic has affected every industry as both businesses and clients have been forced to re-order their priorities, with the real estate sector taken a nosedive as clients become more hesitant to make large investments.
Despite the impact of the virus, she said “we have observed a surge in the demand for our properties by clients in the diaspora due to the current financial instability in the Western world. Costs of materials have skyrocketed, but so far, we have managed to maintain our prices.”
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