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150 Entrepreneurs graduate from mentoring programme

BY: Felix A. Baidoo
• Mrs Theodosia Jackson (middle) cutting the graduation cake while some of the graduands and mentors look on

Some 150 entrepreneurs from six regions have graduated from the maiden edition of a mentoring programme organised by Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans (SASL).

SASL is a leading business entity in the country, which has for the past 27 years been promoting the development of businesses in the country with particular emphasis on the supporting of women in the SME sector.

The mentoring programme gives support and improvement to people, especially women in the SME sector and saw the mentees undergoing a nine-month training with 50 mentors assisting them in various trades, crafts and professions to acquire first-hand information and experience to enhance their business development.

Some of the skills they acquired during the training were proper record keeping, planning in business, innovation and creativity in business, how to guide against fraud and stock control among others.

Coverage

The beneficiary mentees were from the Ashanti, Central, Eastern, Western North, Greater Accra and Northern regions.

The maiden event saw the best three mentees and mentoring teams receiving cash packages ranging from GH¢500 to GH¢1,000 and other packages.

Each of the mentoring teams were asked to submit stories about their experience during the training, after which the three winners were selected for recognition and honours.

The maiden graduation exercise which had the theme “Mentoring the next generation of great women”, also saw some great achievers in the area of SMEs taking turns to interact with the mentees and the mentors to psyche them up for the opportunities ahead of them in the business sector.

Piloting

The project which has completed its pilot phase, was aimed at building the capacity of the SMEs to enhance their business acumen and also enable them develop positive business attitude to help sustain and expand their businesses.

The mentorship involved bringing experienced mentors from various established SME business modules to coach, mentor and share best practices with their mentees at their various working locations across the country.

Some facets of business captured in the mentorship included trading, manufacturing, school management, agro-processing, as well as service provision among others.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Chief Programme Officer at Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans (SASL), Mrs Joyce Owusu-Dabo, said the SASL was full of praise to the mentees and mentors for their dedication and commitment towards the success of the project.

Mrs Owusu-Dabo hinted that the second edition of the mentoring would be launched in September this year, adding that, it would this time increase the number of beneficiaries.

Collaboration

She commended the Canadian Government through its agencies; Global Affairs Canada and Opportunity International Canada for their support towards the mentorship programmes which stood the chance of reducing poverty among women, especially those in the rural areas who cover about 65 per cent of their target for the project.

Mrs Theodosia Jackson, a Board Member of SASL, challenged the people in the business sector to be much more disciplined by abiding by principles which will help their business improve.

“I must say that most businesses of women collapse due to greed, as they always want to emulate what others in the business are doing instead of creating a new market through innovation,” she said.