Michael Mensah-Baah (left), Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Development Bank Ghana, speaking at the launch of the programme in Kumasi. With him is Anthony Gyasi Fosu, Chief Executive Officer of SASL
Michael Mensah-Baah (left), Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Development Bank Ghana, speaking at the launch of the programme in Kumasi. With him is Anthony Gyasi Fosu, Chief Executive Officer of SASL

Development Bank supports SMEs with GH¢23m

Development Bank Ghana (DBG) has set up a GH¢23 million fund to be disbursed to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in specific sectors of the economy.

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An amount of GH¢ 8 million, representing 35 per cent of the funds, would go to women in SMEs who have the potential to expand their businesses under a programme dubbed “LeapHer”.

It is estimated that the 2,500 beneficiary women would in turn train their colleagues to become self-sufficient. The programme, which was launched in Kumasi, Ashanti Region, on Thursday, would be implemented by Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans (SASL). The launch coincided with the 30th Anniversary celebration of SASL. Present at the event was the Chief Executive Officer of DBG, Kwamina Duker.

Objectives

The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of DBG, Michael Mensah-Baah, said the programme sought to address challenges and barriers female entrepreneurs encountered in accessing finance for their businesses.

“This is in line with DBG’s vision of accelerating an inclusive and sustainable economic transformation by fostering growth of a competitive private sector,” he added. Mr Mensah-Baah said the fund could be used to secure working capital, embark on business expansion and asset acquisition for female entrepreneurs in agriculture, manufacturing and high value services such as education, health, tourism and transportation.

He said since the establishment of the bank, DBG had been actively involved in capacity-building programmes to empower women and youth-led businesses. “Through these initiatives, more than 1,850 women have been provided with essential training and support to thrive in their respective businesses,” Mr Mensah-Baah said.

He expressed the bank’s commitment to invest 15 per cent of its available funds, approximately GH¢1billion, in women-led businesses within the next three to five years.

Appreciation

The Chief Executive Officer of SASL,  Anthony Gyasi Fosu, expressed appreciation to the bank for the intervention, and said it would go a long way to help create employment opportunities for the women.

He said women, unlike men, had been identified as becoming more successful in doing businesses, and that offering them financial assistance and technical know-how would enable them to do better.

The company has already piloted the initiative in some selected regions where some women had been identified to access the fund to scale up their businesses.

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