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Ghana: DBG & Sinapi Aba unveils ‘Leapher’ programme to empower women businesses

Development Bank Ghana has announced the launch of its tailored lending program specifically for women owned businesses in partnership with Sinapi Aba.

The programme, dubbed, ‘LeapHer, is specifically customized to address the challenges and barriers that female entrepreneurs encounter in accessing finance for their businesses.

This was disclosed by the Bank’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Michael Mensah-Baah at the 30th Anniversary celebration of Sinapi Aba Savings & Loans Ltd, a PFI (Participating Financial Institution) of DBG.

In line with DBG’s vision of accelerating an inclusive and sustainable economic transformation, by fostering the growth of a competitive private sector, the Bank has extended a total of GHS23 million to Sinapi Aba. Out of the GHS23million, a total of GHS8million, constituting 35 percent of the funds would be invested in the ‘LeapHer Programme’ and will serve to provide financial support, capacity-building interventions, and technical assistance to women businesses in the SME (Small and Medium-sized Enterprise) sector.

Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Mensah-Baah indicated that “The partnership with Sinapi Aba to promote the LeapHer Programme marks the beginning of this journey as DBG intends to launch many of such programmes in the coming months to support women-led businesses”.

He added that “The funds provided in the programme can 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.”

Last year, DBG in partnership with the Investment Climate Reform (ICR) Facility, conducted a Gender Mainstreaming Scan (GMS), which provided valuable insights into the existing gender disparities and barriers within Ghana’s financial landscape.

Through extensive data collection, the GMS shed light on key gaps and challenges hindering women’s access to finance, as well as the institutional, legal, and structural barriers that must be addressed to promote gender equality.

According to the Deputy CEO, “By understanding the difficulties faced by women-led businesses, DBG is able to design programmes that addresses these challenges, and in collaboration with our partners help eliminate the bottlenecks that hinder the growth of women-led businesses.”

Since the establishment of the Bank, DBG has been actively involved in capacity-building programs aimed at empowering women and youth-led businesses. Through these initiatives, over 1,850 women have been provided with essential training and support, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the business arena.

DBG’s participation in initiatives such as the 2X Challenge underscores its dedication to advancing women’s economic empowerment. By joining this initiative as its 100th member, DBG is contributing to the mobilization of capital for projects that directly benefit women entrepreneurs, leaders, and stakeholders, thus amplifying their impact on the economy.

Additionally, DBG has endorsed the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPS), further solidifying its commitment to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. By adhering to these principles, DBG is actively working to create a more inclusive workplace, marketplace, and community, where women have equal opportunities to thrive and succeed.

This goes a long way to show the importance DBG attaches to fostering a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion, ultimately contributing to the sustainable development and prosperity of our nation.

Development Bank Ghana is a wholesale financial institution established by the Government of Ghana. DBG acts as a provider of long-term capital to the market with a mission to foster strong partnerships to finance economic growth, create jobs, and build capacity for SMEs.

The organisation is committed, aligned and strengthened to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ambitions and targets while implementing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy aimed at creating shared value and impact with purpose.

The Bank has received funds from the World Bank, European Investment Bank, Kreditanstalt Für Wiederaufbau (KfW), and the African Development Bank.

To address these challenges, DBG announced its commitment to investing 15 percent of its available funding, approximately GHS1 billion into women-led businesses in the next 3 to 5 years.

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