Deliberate products must developed by banks and the government to support women entrepreneurs to succeed in their businesses, a lawyer, Jessie Jacintho, has said.
Just as government was pushing for banks to reserve percentage of their funds for lending to farmers, she suggested same should be done for women entrepreneurs.
Ms Jacintho, Head of Legal of GCB Bank Plc, made the suggestion during the 11th Edition of the Ghana Economic Forum on the theme: “Building a robust and resilient economy through technology, finance and Investment, trade and entrepreneurship.”
It was organised by the B&FT and sponsored by the Mastercard Foundation, GCB Bank Plc, and KPMG.
“We must encourage products basically for women. Other sectors should also have products designed to meet the needs of women instead of women struggling out with men,” she said.
Ms Jacintho said women entrepreneurs were ready to expand and scale-up their businesses if they got the necessary support.
According to the GCB Bank Plc General Counsel, though Ghana had the highest women entrepreneurs in the Sub-Region, saying it appeared the “State is not doing enough to promote women entrepreneurs.”
“We need to create a favourable ecosystem for women entrepreneurs and the ecosystem must address all the gaps to promote women entrepreneurs,” she, said.
The Head of Legal of GCB Bank Plc, stated that access to finance remained one of the challenges facing women entrepreneurs, making it difficult for women entrepreneurs to expand and open new businesses.
Ms Jacintho, for instance, said small-scale women operators who were able to raise loans, were those who had formed groups.
She said the lack of exposure and training were also another challenges facing women entrepreneurs.
To this end, the Head of Legal of GCB Bank Plc, called for mentoring for women entrepreneurs, especially the young ones.
Ms Jacintho observed that the country stood to gain immensely if women entrepreneurs and businesses were promoted.
“Research has shown that anytime you have a women in leadership, the turnover is high, you see the profit soaring, so the same as a country. If country give women support, things will turn round better for the country,” she said.
The Head Legal of GCB Plc stated that her outfit was doing a lot to promote and empower women in the country.
“GCB is doing a lot to promote women. As we speak we are doing some training for the beneficiaries of our Female Future Leaders programme,” she said, adding that the Bank had formed “Ladies Association to empower women.
She said the Bank was reviewing its gender policy to empower women and give them more exposure.
Other speakers on the panel were, Mrs Dzigbordi Kwaku-Dosoo, the Chief Executive Officer of Dzigbordi Consulting Group and Mrs OdeliaNtiamoahBoampong, Chief Executive Officer of SNB Group.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE