CalBank: supporting the nurturing and development of women-owned businesses

CalBank: supporting the nurturing and development of women-owned businesses
Roselind Akko

Women represent half of the world’s population and half its economic potential. In spite of the growing awareness of the importance of gender equality, the majority of women’s economic potential remains untapped. In emerging economies like Ghana, one-third of registered Micro, Small and Medium Size Enterprises (MSMEs) are owned by women.

CalBank PLC in recognition of this fact, established the Women’s Banking Unit in November 2018 with the core mandate of identifying, developing and promoting women-owned and women-managed businesses. Since then, CalBank’s Women’s Banking Unit has nurtured and developed many MSMEs across the country. One of such businesses is Rush Enterprise, which is owned and operated by Anita Ofori.

At a tender age, Awo (as she is affectionately called) followed her mother to the Central Business district and assisted in selling her wares. Admiring her resilience and tenacity as a woman in business, Awo tapped into these traits of her mother and decided to venture entrepreneurship years later.

Turning her passion for beauty into business, Awo started Rush Enterprise by buying nail polish, pressed powder, make-up brush, make-up bags and other make-up and nail accessories from her friends to sell for marginal profits. After years of hard work and building experience in the make-up business, she decided to import her products.

Awo was introduced to CalBank PLC by her friend who attended a capacity building programme organized by the Women’s Banking Unit. Hesitant about banks and their procedures, Awo was not interested in doing business with the bank at the time. “Bank procedures are too long so I do not like dealing with them” she said. After so much persistence on the part of the Women’s Banking team and the Relationship Officer assigned to her, Awo opened an account and began to channel her business proceeds through it.

Rush Enterprise was groomed and nurtured in business through training in basic bookkeeping, stock taking and account management. In no time Awo had full control of her stock and knew that to remain competitive, she needed to stock up a variety of her products.

At this point, she approached the Bank for working capital support.

With a concessionary interest rate, flexible collateral arrangement, simplified documentation, and swift processing the CalBank Obaapa Loan provided the needed support to Rush Enterprise.

Today, Rush Enterprise has grown steadily into a household name in the beauty industry with customized products to her credit. “CalBank has been there through thick and thin; I recommend them to any woman in business because they have the patience to study and understand your business and are there to meet your needs just in time” Awo concluded.

Speaking on its impact on women businesses in Ghana, the Head of CalBank Women’s Banking Unit Roselind Akko indicated that since its inception, the Women’s Banking Unit through the CalBank Obaapa Loan scheme has disbursed over GH¢110million in loans to women and women entrepreneurs. The Unit has equally extended its capacity building programmes to women in several sectors and is fast becoming the preferred bank for Ghanaian women.

At CalBank, we understand the business of Women entrepreneurs.!


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