157 Women Graduate from Sinapi Aba Mentorship Programme
A total of 157 women entrepreneurs have undergone a one-year training on the best ways to enhance the fortunes of their businesses. Most of the beneficiaries, from the informal sector, are clients of the Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans, drawn from across the country. The programme dubbed, “Women Mentorship Programme”, is meant to support the women to acquire modern business knowledge the skills set to grow their respective business.
Management says the bank’s objective is to ensure the holistic transformation of the life of its clients, which includes giving them supports in the area of loans and credit as well as build their capacities to enable them to manage their businesses. Chief Programs Officer, Joyce Owusu Dabo, says the target is to focus on SME women entrepreneurs to build their capacities to acquire the needed knowledge and also acquire the skills sets they need to help invest in their businesses to help them sustain and grow.
“Last year, we realized that we give them the training, they acquire the knowledge but then they require the skills sets that will help them better implement the things we have been teaching them. We want to use them as a channel for employment creation for the nation so we believe that as they grow their business. Then they are able to employ others and give them support to also impact their communities”
Board member, Mrs Theodosia Jackson, revealed the financial institution will continue to support the mentees even after graduating. “the mentees, Sinapi Aba is not leaving, it is giving them interest-free loan to start. “
The mentorship programme adopted the peer-to-peer methodology where established businesses and entrepreneurs were used to empower budding ones. Under the programme, the mentors were Sinapi Aba Clients who are well established, and the mentees are up and coming ones (also Sinapi Aba Clients) that the company plans to help them grow and expand their businesses.
Mrs Dabo observes that “We started in January and ended in December 2020 and It is the first time we are doing it. Throughout the period we have seen a lot of improvement in the skills acquired by the women. You can see the change when you go into their businesses; the way they recruit and relate to their customers, the way they keep their books.”
The expectations at the end of the programme, according to her, is for the women mentors to be able to invest their knowledge and skills acquired into their businesses. “For what we have seen so far, they have increased in their knowledge and skills. We already seeing signs so we know it will continue to help them going forward. We want to encourage financial institutions like ourselves to do the best for their clients.”
The beneficiaries of the programme were excited and impressed with the progress that has been visible in their respective businesses during and after the programme.