1. Briefly tell us about yourself and your organization.
My name is Catherine Boafo Ashong and I am the founder and CEO of Mawutwueni – a social enterprise focused on inclusive training, advocacy research, rural development and agri-business to impact women-led and youth-led MSMEs in communities to improve their livelihoods.
2. What motivated you to start your social enterprise?
My main motivation came from my daughter. To address some of the challenges I faced in feeding her, I came up with a nutritious balanced diet CerealMix for her, which she happily and speedily consumed. Since her feeding habit improved, I decided to share my new approach with friends and colleagues that were having similar challenges with feeding their children. However, after a while, we all figured out that there was something still missing to help make the feeding process easy. In my search for a way to help babies feed better, I was divinely inspired to “measure and write”, which led to the development of our CerealMix recipe. The initial demand for this product was huge, which then motivated me to go into agro-processing full-time and also use my learnings to support women and youth-led small and medium-sized enterprises as a means of improving their livelihoods.
Since my business improved my life, I am passionate about helping women do the same. My focus is on inclusive training, advocacy, research, rural development and agri-business to impact women-led and youth-led MSMEs in communities to improve their livelihoods.
3. So far, what has been the impact of your social enterprise?
My organization has trained over 400 women-led and youth-led MSMEs in digital skills, business development, English as a second language, advocacy for economic rights, building construction and many more.
Our aim is to impact 5000 women and youths to create jobs and improve their livelihoods, a goal we are meticulously working towards.
4. What are the major challenges you are currently facing in your social enterprise?
We are consistently faced with the usual challenge of limited funding, as well as a lack of office and agro-processing equipment.
5. Mention one big change you will like to see in your line of work e.g., policy change, behaviour change, institutional support, more collaboration etc.
One area of change I would like to see involves accessibility to finance for most MSMEs, which has been very difficult. Also, in the area of policy, I will be happy to see more financial institutions working with organizations such as ours to offer patient capital to support women-led and youth-led MSMEs in starting and scaling up their businesses. Appropriate policies that can enable such an ecosystem to develop are needed.
6. Do you have a final message for a budding social entrepreneur who is interested in your field of work?
Perseverance is the key to success. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
7. How can people connect with your social enterprise online?
They can contact Mawutwueni via:
LinkedIn URL: https://www.linkedin.com/company/mawutwueni/