The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has provided over $200 million to some six financial institutions in the country for on-lending to women businesses.

The move is to reduce the lack of access to capital by women led businesses.

Speaking at this year’s Women International Day Forum organised by the Ghana Stock Exchange Forum, a Senior Country Officer at IFC, Cemile Hacibeyoglu, said the IFC which is a member of the World Bank Group is committed to increasing funding for women led firms.

Women made up of almost 50% of Small and Medium Scale enterprises in the country.

This the Ghana Stock Exchange used the forum to highlight some opportunities for women in overcoming challenges in their business operations.

IFC provides $200m to 6 financial institutions to support women businesses

Speaking at a forum on International Women Day, a Senior Country Officer at the IFC Ghana, Cemile Hacibeyoglu, said the IFC which is a member of the World Bank Group is committed to increasing funding for women led firms.

“Here in Ghana, we have a strong partnership with the Ghana Stock Exchange because the drive for gender equality remains important for the IFC.”

“IFC is stepping its work with stock exchanges to improve diversity in listed companies and also sign and adopt women empowerment principle in our operations”, she added.

“We have supported insurance companies to develop insurance products customiseed for women to help them become more resilient. We also make extra efforts to improve women’s access to finance. The IFC have provided more than $200 million to six commercial banks to lend to SME’s with particular attention to women businesses, and we’re certainly going to do more” she further noted.

Managing Director of the Ghana Stock Exchange, Ekow Afedzi, used the occasion to call on women businesses to use the Accra Bourse to raise capital to expand their operations.

“I have one advice for women and that is to invest in bonds and shares [stocks], teach your partners about investment and do it together to be able to raise capital for your business or the home.”

“Women entrepreneurs should take advantage of the stock market to raise capital for expansion projects” he urged.

The forum known as “Ring the bell for gender equality” is aimed at celebrating contribution of women in the economy to mark the International women’s day which is celebrated every 8th March.