As the number of Ghanaian female entrepreneurs soars, the need for proper structures to enable women to easily access financing is eminent now more than ever.
A recent index, the 2018 MasterCard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE), revealed that Ghana has the highest number of women entrepreneurs Worldwide, pegged at 46.4 percent.
The index also notes that almost 4 percent out of every ten business leaders in Ghana is a woman.
Yet, due to structural deficiencies caused by high poverty and inequality, women entrepreneurs face more challenges in accessing financing and its associated benefits than men, according to a press release from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
A study conducted by IFC revealed that the estimated unmet credit demand of women entrepreneurs in Ghana is $243 million.
The IFC explained in the release that numerous non-financial barriers, including the social and cultural norms underlying gender biases present an immediate obstacle for women in Ghana and similarly, in other developing markets.
It adds that this is compounded by the smaller sizes of their enterprises, alongside limited access to business and education opportunities and networks.
“Ghanaian women who have a strong entrepreneurial culture, would benefit from improved access to finance, as well as advice and training on business management and entrepreneurship,” Ronke-Amoni Ogunsulire, IFC Country Manager for Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger and Togo was cited as saying in the release.
“Through the Banking on Women Programma, IFC would like to generate opportunities to empower these entrepreneurs who represent a crucial segment of the market,” he was further quoted as saying.
The banking programme combines investment support and advisory services to help banks reach those clients who have been previously underserved in the market.
In Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and North Africa, the IFC Banking on Women Business has launched 17 advisory services projects in 15 countries and 12 investments in 7 countries.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries.
By: Pamela Ofori-Boateng/businessworldghana.com