Financial Inclusion and Enterprise Development: Innovatively Empowering SMEs Today for Sustainable Growth Tomorrow
On 22nd September 2022, a programme learning conference was held to mark the end of the successful completion of the Financial Inclusion and Enterprise Development Project at the Alisa Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana. This five-year project was funded by the Canadian Government with the objective of increasing access to formal financing, providing business training and networking opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana, with a focus on small SMEs, women and vulnerable groups.
The conference was attended by several key figures including representatives from the Bank of Ghana, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Canadian Government, Ministry of Finance, Ghana Association of Savings and Loans Companies, Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network, Association of Financial Non-Governmental Organizations, Ghana Enterprise Agency, Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans, Inc., Opportunity International Canada and Members of the Press.
Presentations on the approach and learnings from this innovative project were delivered by Implementing Partners, Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans, Inc. and Opportunity International Canada. Mr. Ismail Adam, Deputy Director, Banking Supervision Department, Bank of Ghana, remarked “SMEs, particularly women led SMEs, face several challenges to start and build a business including unwritten social and cultural norms, lack of awareness about legal rights, lack of economic and training opportunities among other constraints. My expectation is that your deliberations this morning will highlight some of these constraints to inform policy making.” The event concluded with a lunch and networking event.
Contributing to the advancement of women’s rights, gender equality, and empowerment of women in Ghana, this Project increased access to formal financing, created business-to-business linkages and networking opportunities for SMEs in Ghana, with a focus on small SMEs, women and vulnerable groups. Women entrepreneurs were encouraged to innovate and grow their businesses and deliver results on economic growth.
About the partners
Sinapi Aba was founded in 1994 and for the past 28 years has been actively championing financial inclusion and financial empowerment in Ghana; serving low-income entrepreneurs and individuals by providing them with access to holistic financial services through innovative programmes, products and services which have earned the institution various local and international accolades. Sinapi Aba has 44 branches across the country with a client base of over 450,000. In 2020, SASL won the Gold Medal from the Global SME Finance Forum as the Best Bank for Women Entrepreneurs. And in 2022, SASL won the Socially Responsible Institution Award and Most Gender Focused MFI Award from Ghana Microfinance Institutions Network and The Financial Inclusion Advocacy Centre. Discover more at sinapiaba.com
Opportunity International Canada is a Canadian non-profit organization that empowers families to leave poverty behind for good. It provides financial products, services and training along their paths toward new lives filled with strength, hope, and resilience. Opportunity International Canada is part of the Opportunity Network, founded in 1971, which currently provides loans, savings programs, insurance and other financial services and training to more than 7 million loan clients and 14 million savings clients over 20 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Discover more at opportunityinternational.ca