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Business News of Thursday, 15 March 2018


IFC to introduce 'Banking on Women' for female entrepreneurs

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a subsidiary of the World Bank Group has made known its intention to roll out the “Banking on Women” product to help financial institutions meet the needs of women entrepreneurs in a profitable and sustainable way.

The product is also expected to encourage banks to explore the untapped opportunities within the female customer segment in the Ghanaian market through targeted investment and advisory services to promote access to finance for women entrepreneurs.

Although current statistics have shown that Ghana is leading its peers with the highest percentage of women as business owners, the majority of women’s economic potential remains untapped, particularly in the financial sector.

Speaking at a press conference to elaborate on the importance of the “Banking on Women” product to women and the economy at large, Global Product Head for the program, Jessica Schnabel said with women already contributing to development growth, providing a stronger space can only speed up development.

“We at IFC believe that products that support women should be commercial and that is how this product will be, so many can come on board. We also acknowledge the fact that, this shouldn’t be limited to just women in the urban areas, the reason why we plan to partner with banks and micro-finance institutions that have women at heart. Women are the next emerging market, and forward-looking banks are targeting women customers as a core growth strategy.”

On her part, IFC Country Manager for Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo and Niger, Ronke-Amoni Ogunsulire was optimistic the initiative will help the banks reach clients previously under-served, enabling the financial sector tap into more opportunities.

“We have a lot of products to offer, they include the debt financing, equity financing, balance sheet risk management, mobilization and syndication among others. All these are to help women reach the stage where they will be driving the economy.

Research has also shown that women own over 30% of registered SMEs globally, they are also “less risky clients” and more loyal to a bank, enough reason to guarantee the success of this product on the market once it is made available.”