A total of two hundred and ninety women from the 16 regions of Ghana underwent a 6-month training under the Sinapi Aba mentorship program.
Beneficiaries, mostly from the informal sector, were provided with free skills in professional, technical and financial disciplines by the financial institution.
Dubbed the “Mentoring Program for Women”, the training aims to empower and support women in acquiring modern business knowledge and skills to grow their respective businesses.
With the help of Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans, the women chose their preferred trade for training, including baking, catering, hairdressing, dressmaking, automotive electrical, aluminum fabrication and welding .
The program focuses on small and medium-sized women entrepreneurs in building their capacity to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to facilitate investments in their businesses for growth.
Director of Programmes, Joyce Owusu Dabo, said the program aims to fill the gap in knowledge and technical know-how.
“In our quest to ensure these graduates are fully prepared for the challenges that await them as their businesses grow, we realized there was a skills gap in the way they run their businesses. We felt that we had to identify a very appropriate way to give the skills they need. Mentorship programs have become a core program that we can offer them that would help them gain the skills to bridge that knowledge-skills gap,” she said.
Graduates also gained knowledge in fraud management, record keeping and communicating with customer service.
The initiative hopes to reduce the strong wave of unemployment in the country.
Management says the bank’s goal is to deliver comprehensive customer transformation, which includes lending and credit support as well as capacity building for better business management.
“Some of the women have been able to improve their business to grow and sustain it. Others have been able to expand their business by adding other business areas. They were able to employ more people to engage in their business,” added the program director.
The women, selected from 44 Sinapi Aba branches nationwide, were adopted into the peer mentorship program where established businesses and entrepreneurs empowered future ones.
Mentors under the program are Sinapi Aba clients rooted in the business world, while mentees are aspiring entrepreneurs whom the company plans to help grow and develop.
One beneficiary, Grace Benewaa, said the initiative helped her family financially.
“Before, I sold second-hand clothes. But I suffered losses. When I joined this program, it really helped me. Even though I started my own business, when I sell baked goods I get something for myself and my family,” she said.
The program, themed “Mentoring the Next Generation of Great Women”, was in collaboration with Opportunity International, Canada.