Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans trains over 150 women in modern ways of doing business
More than 150 women, most of them operating in the informal sector, are receiving training in modern ways of doing business to boost their businesses.
The initiative dubbed, ‘Women Mentorship Programme’, is spearheaded by Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans Limited, a local financial service institution.
The mentorship programme is basically adopting the peer-to-peer methodology where established businesses and entrepreneurs are used to empower budding ones for them to grow and expand.
Being done in collaboration with the Canadian government, it is expected to improve the productivity of already existing businesses.
Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans has over 300,000 clients in the 16 regions in Ghana with most of them located in the rural areas.
At the launch of the programme in Kumasi, CEO of the local financial institution, Tony Gyasi, said the move is meant empower the about 75 to 80 per cent of its clients being women.
“We have seen the challenges and struggles enterprises in Ghana and Africa go through, and the odds that are against women and that is why we have identified women, entrepreneurs. They will share their successes, failures with the less experienced ones learning from it. The up-coming ones can avoid the mistakes and capitalize on the successes,” he said.
The initiative under, which is the maiden mentorship programme the institution, targets women start-ups drawn from 12 out of the 44 branches of the company as a pilot study.
Transformation Manager, Mrs Phyllis des Bordes, tells Luv Biz the initiative is expected to empower women in businesses and encourage others to venture into the sector.
- Mrs Phyllis des Bordes
"Our main aim is to create a hub of women who we will use to train other women so now the mentors. And we are also looking at the mentees becoming mentors to also train others, then the chain continues. The main aim is for them to employ more people,” she said.
Under the programme, the mentors are Sinapi Aba Clients who are well established, and the mentees are those up and coming ones (also Sinapi Aba Clients) that the company plans to help them grow and expand their businesses.
Mrs der Bordes adds that the initiative is not restricted to some business areas alone.
“We are not concentrating on one activity and so it cuts across all the other sectors and business chain,” she said.
Sinapi Aba Mentorship Programme looks at empowering SMEs especially women through capacity building to enhance their business acumen and have a positive business attitude.
It is also aimed at helping women entrepreneurs to network for business purposes. Chief Programs Officer, Joyce Owusu-Dabo, also said the initiative looks at implementing strategies that will help these women to make informed decisions about themselves and their businesses with the ultimate goal of empowering them.
Over the years, the institution has trained over 20,000 women across the country, in various areas through capacity building programmes and sometimes by giving them loans and credit facilities.
“The feedback from these capacity-building programs made us understand the need to go extra to support people’s livelihoods especially women,” she said.
The Mentorship Program is geared towards pairing the women the experienced and less experienced ones for them to learn.
Mrs Owusu-Dabo explains that the programme is going to run for six months after which it will be expanded to take in more entrepreneurs.
“The ultimate goal for us is to redefine today’s entrepreneurship woman by making them resourceful and making them have positive attitude towards their business so that they will be able to grow their business, be more empowered and add value to their business, employ more people and help mother Ghana”, she explained.