Unemployment in Ghana remains a huge challenge and women generally, have been the worst affected.
It is on the back of this that some 1,000 women entrepreneurs have been given a boost over the past four years through the Women Mentorship programme.
These women entrepreneurs have been trained and given financial support to help expand and improve their businesses.
This is also aimed at giving them the opportunity to employ many people who hitherto were unemployed.
Already, 700 women entrepreneurs have been trained with the latest 300 persons drawn from various regions across the country graduating in Kumasi.
Stakeholders are of the view that this opportunity will significantly help in enhancing the fortunes of the businesses of the beneficiaries who are mainly clients of Sinapi Aba savings and loans.
Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans, the organization spearheading this initiative, has expressed a strong commitment to providing the beneficiaries with the needed support to help them achieve business success under the initiative.
“Our goal is to give opportunity to this sector of the informal people who would find it difficult to access financial services in the mainstream banks. What we do is give them financial support in the area of loans and other innovative financial services – savings, remittance, etc., we as an institution have realized that women need other services in addition to the financial support that we give to them, and that is building their capacities. Because, most of them are illiterates and semi-literates, and so they really need skills and knowledge to manage their businesses to take them to the next level.
“So, Sinapi Aba in the course of its business has come up with what we call the Women Mentorship Program. But, we do have a few men among them, though. So, this program aims to identify entrepreneurs with growth potential for their businesses, to train them to acquire the skills and knowledge that they need to invest in their businesses and use their business as a conduit for employment for people in their communities.
“We also aim to get these women to build a can-do spirit, in fact, to be resilient women entrepreneurs, to be empowered as women to be able to compete with their male counterparts in whatever business they find themselves. So, the Mentorship Program is aimed to build the totality of women entrepreneurs so that they can stand up to what they are doing and do it better,” Joyce Owusu Daabo, Chief Programmes Officer, Sinapi Aba Saving and Loans noted.
The beneficiaries acknowledge that the initiative provides them with opportunities to acquire needed knowledge and skills that help them grow and sustain their businesses. One of them explained how impactful the program has been for her business.
“Sinapi Aba mentorship program is here to train women who are in business, the small and medium enterprises in Ghana. From my experience, from the program that we had for the past six months, I learned how to grow my business very well. Now, in what sense? How to be kept in business. How to grow your business, financially and numerically, depends on the kind of business that you’re doing. There are a lot of things that we learned, but these are the two basic ones that I really learned. I wasn’t very enthused about taking loans.
But, Sinapi Aba made me understand that taking loans helps boost your business. After taking the loan, they took us through how we would be able to utilize the loans very well to bring profit to us. I am somebody who was just buying things from Accra and selling but Sinapi Aba has made it possible to travel outside the country and import goods into Ghana for resell. I think that Sinapi aba is doing well in terms of grooming women in business. I am a living testimony,” Doris Crentsil, the beneficiary of the Sinapi Aba Women Membership Program stated.