Digital Transformation Exercise At Ajamesu in the Ashanti Region
The outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic and the aftermath of this economy crippling disease has necessitated smartphone ownership, usage and connectivity, especially to enhance business growth.
The economic dive resulting from the pandemic demands that entrepreneurs in this case women adopt digital technologies to increase access to raw materials, production process, finished products, customers and enter new markets while also improving internal business operations.
That is why the DigiWorks project could not have come at a better time. The purpose of this project sponsored by GIZ and implemented by hapaSpace is to enhance the socio-economic conditions of 150 rural women at Adjemesu and its surrounding suburbs through basic digital training.
Goals of The Project
The goal of this project was to train participants in the usage of basic mobile apps including social media apps like WhatsApp, Facebook and Fashionpal to scale their business while also teaching phone photography, basic marketing strategies and business management.
The DigiWorks project was implemented in two (2) Work packages
Work package 1: Trained 50 business women in Ajamesu-Bekwai to adopt basic digital skills in running their businesses.
Work package 2: Introduced 110 women in fashion at Ajamesu to basic digital skills in addition to Fashionpal (an app that will help them with data and financial management).
The training covered 9 modules with emphasis on promoting digital transformation. The modules were:
Introduction to Digital Devices
The Internet & Mobile Apps
Introduction to Social Media
Using Social media for Business
Digital Content Creation and Distribution
Using mobile money in business
Digital Financial Management
Digital Safety and security
Participants were put in groups of 10 to allow for personal attention and one-on-one support. The training was learner centred. Each individual participant had opportunities to demonstrate what they were learning through individual presentations, group work and assignments.
The training took place at the halls of churches at the centre of Ajamesu. Thanks to these pastors that allowed us to use their facilities and even participated in the program.
The 160 participants together with the chief and elders of Ajamesu were excited that we brought such an enlightening program to their town.
Most of the ladies were so appreciative that 2 of them decided to volunteer their time to support the next cohorts after theirs to learn. The Abusua Panyin intimated at the closing ceremony that all those who had gained the training should do well to pass it on to families and friends.
Evidence of impact
Participants having gone through the training themselves brought their friends and family to also register and learn more about digital tools.
As a result of the training, some participants who did not own smartphones now have one because they now understand the value it can bring to their businesses.
During the graduation event, several women asked about the next training because they missed the first one for some reasons.
Mentoring and Coaching
Post training evaluation sessions with individual trainees were conducted to examine how well these "smart women" were applying the knowledge acquired.
Following this was a high-level coaching and mentoring. This was exactly the case when the mentors paid both random and scheduled visits to the participants.
On these visits they monitored the trainees,watched how they used the digital tools or skills they had acquired, further trained or assisted them in areas where they needed a little more understanding.
WhatsApp groups have been created where participants, trainers and hapaSpace staff get to interact and offer continuous support.
Ultimately the project was a success. Our goals were reached beyond our expectations and the impact made was massive.
We can confidently say that the women of Adjemesu are “SmartWomen” and we believe these participants are going to put in the work with what they have learnt to grow their businesses.
DigiWorks - We are Smart Women
This has been very insightful project. It is a pleasure to help marginalised ones to adopt technology and take advantage of it to grow their businesses.