SG Ghana poised to empower women entrepreneurs


Societe Generale (SG) Ghana has said it is taking steps to empower women-owned businesses to overcome financial hurdles through its SG Woman product.

Its Managing Director, Hakim Ouzzani, speaking at its SG woman business seminar in Accra emphasised how critical it is to support women-owned businesses through increased access to financing, explaining that his outfit is using pragmatic measures to develop tailor-made support for women.

He said the seminar brought together many businesswomen and forms part of the process, as it provides a unique opportunity to discuss pertinent issues concerning access to financing by women-run micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises.

“We have the conviction that women have to be promoted in Ghana and we are working hard to do so; not just internally or within our bank, but by extending it to our customers.

“So this event is a capacity building occasion that will enable us to be in contact with women entrepreneurs and to understand their businesses and challenges, because we are working on our SG Woman product to support them,” he said.

Despite the critical and significant contribution of women to socioeconomic growth, access to finance remains a major challenge for women-owned businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic’s aftermath has seen most developing economies, including Ghana, coming under very harsh inflationary spikes – leading to the tightening of monetary policy by the Bank of Ghana, which has resulted in tight financing conditions and constrained access to financing for all; particularly for women-owned businesses.

The World Bank Findex report of 2021 indicated that the gender gap in access to finance in Ghana as of 2021 widened from 9 percent to 11 percent, although the percentage of women accessing finance had increased from 27 percent in 2011 to 63 percent in 2021.

However, to help salvage the situation for women entrepreneurs, Country Manager of Home of Business at SG Ghana, Yvette Richardson, said the tailor-made women’s credit facility seeks to make available GHȼ5million for financing women businesses and is expected to be launched by end of this year.

“We in SG Ghana believe that small businesses are the backbone of our economy, providing jobs, spurring innovation and driving economic growth. Women-owned small businesses play an especially important role in the Ghanaian economy, as they have the potential to drive significant economic progress and contribute to the country’s overall development.

“When supported financially, women entrepreneurs can provide another means to generate income and reduce inequalities among men and women while reducing poverty,” she noted.

Entrepreneurs at the seminar were encouraged to embrace continuous learning and ensure sustainability in their operations.

The Chief Executive Officer of Fio Enterprise, Adelaide Ahwireng, urged them to build resilience, take advantage of the digital space and prioritise customer satisfaction in their quest to thrive and stay afloat.

They were also admonished by the CEO and Lead Communication Strategist of Strategic Communications Africa Ltd. (Stratcomm Africa), Esther Cobbah Esther Cobbah, to grow their businesses through strategic communication and by making use of relevant information available in the sectors they operate in.

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