A total of two hundred and ninety women from the 16 regions of Ghana have undergone a 6-month training under the Sinapi Aba Mentorship Programme.
The beneficiaries, mostly from the informal sector, were equipped with skills in vocational, technical and financial disciplines by the financial institution for free.
Dubbed “Women Mentorship Programme”, the training is meant to empower and support women to acquire modern business knowledge and skills to grow their respective businesses.
With facilitation from Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans, the women selected their preferred trade for the training, including pastry-making, catering, hairdressing, dress-making, auto-electrical, aluminium fabrication, and welding.
The program focuses on small and medium scale women entrepreneurs in building their capacities to acquire relevant knowledge and skills needed to facilitate investments in their businesses for growth.
Chief Programs Officer, Joyce Owusu Dabo, said the program seeks to bridge the knowledge-technical know how deficit.
“In our quest to make sure that these graduates are wholly baked to face the challenges ahead of them as their businesses grow, we realized that there is a skills gap in the way they manage their business. We felt that we need to identify a much appropriate way of giving that skills that they need. The mentorship programs came in as core program that we can give to them that would help them acquire the needed skills to bridge that knowledge-skills gap,” she said.
The graduates were also equipped with knowledge in fraud management, record keeping, and customer care communications.
The initiative hopes to reduce the high spate of unemployment in the country.
Management says the bank’s objective is to ensure the holistic transformation of its clientele, which includes giving support in the area of loans and credit as well as building capacities for better business management.
“Some of the women have been able to improve on their businesses to grow and to sustain it. Others have been able to expand their businesses by adding on other areas of businesses. They have been able to employ more people to engage in their business,” the Chief Programs officer added.
The women, selected from the 44 branches of Sinapi Aba nationwide, were adopted into the peer mentorship program where established businesses and entrepreneurs empowered the upcoming ones.
Mentors under the programme are Sinapi Aba clients grounded in the business space, while the mentees are budding entrepreneurs that the company plans to help grow and expand.
A beneficiary, Grace Benewaa, said the initiative has helped support her family financially.
“I used to sell second-hand clothes. But I was incurring losses. When I joined this program it has really helped me. Even though I have started my own business, when I sell the pastries I get something for myself and family,” she said.
The programme, on the theme “Mentoring the Next Generation of Great Women”, was in collaboration with Opportunity International, Canada.