Trade Minster, Alan Kyerematen [Source: @AlanKyerematen on Facebook]

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen has called on financial institutions to initiate schemes that will enable women entrepreneurs access affordable loans.

According to him, there is the need to create a special purpose vehicle to enable business women access cheaper funds since women face bigger challenges compared to their male counterpart.

Highlighting some factors that could improve the economic wellbeing of business women, Mr. Kyerematen stressed the need to include women in the national development agenda.

“If you want women entrepreneurs to access credit easily, we have to identify the challenge of women not being able to provide security for loans. In this regard, I want the Bank of Ghana, together with our financial institutions to initiate a programme that will provide guarantee support for loans that go to women.”

 Mr. Kyerematen who spoke at the Ghana Women Entrepreneurship Summit urged women to also build their capacity to enable them fully utilise the funds provided by financial institutions.

 “Secondly, if the Bank of Ghana and the banks are going to depend on this guarantee scheme to support you (women) to access more funding, then you need the capacity to manage your business. Yes money is important but if you cannot manage your business, your business will fail and you cannot pay back your loans,” he said.

Minister of Communication and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu Ekuful advised the women to include digital platforms in their marketing strategies.

Design products to fund women-led businesses - Alan Kyerematen tells financial institutions

“About a year ago, I came across a young lady who was packaging local chewing sponge. She buys it from the market, sanitises it, breaks it into smaller pieces and packages it nicely for sale. I posted it on my Facebook page and I encouraged people to buy it and chew it because of its benefits,” she intimated.

At this year’s Ghana Women Entrepreneurship Summit organised by the Ghana Enterprise Agency and its partners, the WERise Network was launched to create a support system for women in MSMEs.

The Chief Executive of the Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA), Kosi Yankey-Ayeh stated that the Ghana Women Entrepreneurship Summit has made a lot of impact on businesswomen.

Design products to fund women-led businesses - Alan Kyerematen tells financial institutions
Executive Director, NBSSI, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh

 “In 2018, when we started, we had no idea where it would take us. But one thing was clear; we wanted to support Ghanaian women entrepreneurs”.

She observed that the Summit has created a credible platform that gives feedback to GEA to address pertinent issues affecting women.

“The theme of the maiden summit was ‘From Voices to Actions’ and it resonated well with all the participants then and brought along with it, the need to set up the Women Enterprise (WERise) Network.”